Once when I was in high school, my dad and I started talking about death. Not exactly a normal topic for a teenage girl and her father to talk about, but there we were. I’m not sure why we were talking about it, but I remember expressing to him my fear of dying. And you know what his response was? “Death is just our final test to make us more like Christ.” I’ve never forgotten that conversation. And today I was reminded of it again. Those of us who live “up north” have the blessing of experiencing the season of autumn. The leaves turn all sorts of different colors before leaving their home. It is a beautiful sight. It dawned on me today that those leaves that turn all sorts of beautiful colors are dying. They are here for a short time, and then they die. And in their death, they are made beautiful. I can honestly say I have never thought of death as a beautiful thing until today. I like to cling to the things of this world, instead of looking forward to eternity with Christ. But today I realized that I want my death to be beautiful. I want people to look at my death (and hopefully my life), as something that points them to Christ. Just as the changing colors of fall point to the glory of God, I want my death to do the same. So now instead of being scared of death, I think I can honestly say that, “to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).