Thursday, November 6, 2014

fading flower

The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
Isaiah 40:7-8

A message about mortality is not a reminder that we willingly pursue. I know what it is for grass to wither. Here in the Midwest it has already begun with a few night frosts. And as the grass goes dormant, as flowers in the gardens wilt, all seems dead as winter will push against autumn's defiant final colors. And the seasons remind me of change. The passing of time is the passing of my life.

This cycle has been my life. It just occurs in a slower time scale, nearly imperceptible as I live it. The springs and summers of our lives are spent in learning and play as youth. But even then, the flower will start to fade in other lives, because as children we will eventually deal with the death of a loved one. And that is the first stern reminder of our own fragile mortality. We all wither, fade and die.

I know this now. In five decades my life has changed. I have the mental vibrancy of early summer, but now in the weather-beaten home of a mid-autumn body! It is my life. I can't change it. I accept the wilting grass and the fading flowers. And I can do so with grace because of one, unchanging, everlasting constant: The Word of God.

Humans fade but the Word of God stands forever. And anchoring my soul and my will in what God says will carry me beyond mortal decay and into eternity. My soul is safe even if my body weathers, fades, and falls. And I am strengthened in heart by what stands forever.

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