Abiding through Every Season
by Diane Stortz
Have you ever wondered why some trees don’t drop their leaves like most others do? Instead, their brown and sometimes even green leaves stubbornly cling to the branches of the tree. Even in winter, surrounded by snow.
I learned the reason is marcescence, from a Latin root meaning “to shrivel.” Marcescence literally means “withering but persistent.”
Normally a drop in temperature signals the tree to stop making chlorophyll (that’s what makes the leaves green). The changing temps also cause the tree to develop a layer of special cells where leaf stems meet the branches. That cuts the leaves off from the tree, and they wither and fall to the ground.
But sometimes weather conditions prevent the normal leaf-dropping process from completing. The leaves don’t drop, even after they die.
As disciples of Jesus, we need to be like those leaves. Marcescent. Withering but persistent.
Jesus said, “Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5 ESV). He also said, “Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love” (John 15:9-10 ESV).
To abide means to continue, to keep on, to remain. I want to—I need to—abide with Jesus, spending time in His Word and in prayer, being with His people, doing His will each day, loving others.
And spring is coming. In fact, it’s officially here! May the coming days bring hope and new growth for all of us, as we keep on abiding through every season of our lives.
Diane Stortz writes to make God’s wonders known to the next generation. Her newest books include Say & Pray Bible Seek and Find and Say & Pray Bible Wipe Clean. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five young grandchildren—all boys! You can find her at www.DianeStortz.com, on Facebook at facebook.com/diane.stortz.books/, and Instagram @diane.stortz.