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Vibrant colourful leaves changing colour in Autumn.

Years ago, before I lived overseas for seven years, I used to pass this tree on the school run and every autumn it would capture my attention as it underwent transformation.

The transformation process itself is beautiful… But slow. Day to day you wouldn’t spot much difference, but over an extended period you could see the outworking of an internal change. As each leaf gradually shifted and changed colour the overall effect was powerful and stunning. The transformation happened most fully where the leaves were most exposed to the sunlight.

Sometimes I think we want personal transformation to happen immediately. We want to go from A to Z without the journey in the middle. We want the resolution, pay cheque or amazing relationship, without the work to get there. But, if we rushed the transformation process, we’d miss so much colour, so much beauty. We would have much less of an impact if we sought to change in our own, rushed timing.

The process of transformation in our lives is most effective when we position ourselves to have exposure to the light, to the light of life, to the Son. And, just like the leaves on the tree were stunning together, we will make more of an impact if we do our journey with others.

Don’t rush God’s perfect timing for the season that you’re in. Don’t get disheartened if the transformation doesn’t happen overnight. You might be providing hope and joy for someone else as they observe your journey or God might be doing vital growth internally that can’t be seen immediately on the outside. The leaves aren’t stressing about the change, they’re letting the sun do its work. We need to let the Son and the Spirit do theirs:

“And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV).

As I revisit this image, on the other side of an international move and copious amounts of external change. I'm reminded to give myself grace and time for God to do complete the work that He has begun on the inside of me, too. And He promises to do just that. So, whatever season you find yourself in currently, take heart, it's not all about the end result. The process of transformation itself is part of what's making you beautiful.

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