Autumn is a beautiful time of year in the northern states because of the color in the trees. The reds and yellows and oranges are so spectacular that many people call it colorama. But all of that color simply means that the leaves are dying. They’re withering up and falling off the trees, and just a few weeks later the landscape looks barren and bleak and ready for winter.
Growing old is no fun. In fact, someone has said that growing old is not for sissies, and I agree! The aches and pains are superceded only by the withering process – false teeth, poor eyesight, deafness, wrinkled skin, and so on.
Yet there is another aspect of growing old that is even more of a concern. And that is when the inner man also withers up and blows away. That is what God is referring to in Psalm 1:3. He says that the blessed man “…is like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not wither…”
The leaf in this verse reflects the inner life of the tree. You see, fruit-bearing may be seasonal, but if the leaf does not wither, then the tree remains vibrant and active. Now God says that the inner life of the blessed man is like that.
In 2 Corinthians 4:17 we read, “Though the outer man perish, the inner man is renewed day by day.” The body may fall apart, but the inner person remains vibrant and active. It does not wither up like the body.
The word “wither” is a Hebrew word that means “to wilt or fade.” It’s the idea of becoming worn out – of becoming frail and decrepit.
Now, the soul of the blessed person who is refreshed in God’s Word every day, doesn’t fade, wilt, or become frail. Rather, it is renewed day by day. So don’t worry about the outer man. Concentrate on the inner man, because God says “its leaf also shall not wither.”
Now you know the real meaning of the word.
Hey — It may possibly be autumn in your body. But if you delight in God’s Word – you will have perennial spring in your soul!