Even though we’re still having spikes of daytime temperatures into the eighties here in south central Kansas, the cool evenings and chilly mornings are serving fair warning that the season of autumn is progressing. Based upon the lessons of the past, we know that fresh tomatoes and ripe sweet peppers won’t last much longer. That’s just the way it goes when you live halfway between the Equator and the North Pole.
Same goes for the flowers growing in sun or shade. The giant impatiens that flourished while sheltered from the sun during the sweltering months will too soon be cut down by frost. The caladiums with their bright colors and dramatic stripes will also be wiped out. Even the sprawling bee balm, six feet high and five feet wide, will experience its demise in the coming cold.
The warrior poet from long ago reminds us that our lives are not unlike those passing plants: “The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” (Psalm 103:15-17) Kind of sad and sobering, isn’t it? To think that our bodies will one day decay and we must leave this realm of passing seasons.
But that’s not the end of the story.
In the very next verse David reminds us, “But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord’s love is with those who fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children—with those who keep his covenant and remember to obey his precepts.”
Unlike those fading flowers and the withering grass, we whose hope is anchored in the eternal God will never experience death, even though our bodies return to dust.