Autumn Reminders of an Eternal Kind

‘For “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”‘ – I Peter 1:24 (NIV – 1984)

Fall. It is a season that reminds us of endings. Once thriving leaves now drop from their branches bursting with color, but dying. Beautiful summer flowers have lost their grandeur and now succumb to hues of brown and gray. Colder temperatures flow in and bright, long days full of sunshine move out. We are inundated with change. We are regularly reminded of our helplessness to stop the flow of God’s creation. We are caught between summer and winter in the fleeting uniqueness of autumn. Though the season brings its own joy with fabulous scents and colors of orange, yellow, and red; we know it is the end of summer and the start of a period of dormancy and cold.

As we enjoy the changes of fall, let it remind us of a vital truth. I believe God intends for us to see with physical eyes something that points to a lasting, spiritual truth. When you look at a fallen leaf or disintegrating, summer flower; think this thought:

    “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” (I Peter 1:24, NIV, 1984)

Let crinkling leaves and fallen blossoms remind us of something God wants always at the base of our thinking – we are finite and fallen and soon to pass. Any glory we claim to have is as transitory as summer leaves. We live and we die. We seek to accomplish much, but in the end we disappear from this earth. We cannot prevent our own demise. We stand helpless before our “fall.” Except for one thing!

Notice the severe difference God highlights between people and His Word. People wither and fall as the grass. God’s Word stands forever! God’s Word never bends, stoops, or loses its glory. Its beauty never fades; it’s “color” never wanes. No season comes that stops God’s Word. It endures, and endures with full dignity – “standing,” as it were! No weather pattern knocks God’s Word down. No disease causes His Word to waste away. No disaster or tragedy causes His Word to twist or weaken. Through every change, through every heart break, through every earth-shattering event, through death itself; the Word of God stands!

I believe God purposefully showed us the drastic difference between our glory and His Word here in I Peter to remind us to stay focused on Him and not our own selves. I believe one of the reasons for autumn is to demonstrate through His creation an important reminder about human nature when compared to God. Our Lord graciously desires us to live with a constant awareness of our impermanent nature and His eternal nature. Of our failing attempts and His trustworthy ways. Of our sinfulness and His holiness. Of our dependence and His self-sufficiency. Of our need for His Word at the deepest and broadest levels.

You see, God reminds us at the end of I Peter 1:25 (NIV, 1984), “And this is the word that was preached to you.” This is no small or incidental statement! The Word that stands forever can be accepted into your own heart! The seed of God’s Word can be planted in your soul so that the death of you is certainly not the end of you!

God expresses this hope very succinctly in I Peter 1:22 (NIV, 1984), “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” Do you see it? We can be born again of an imperishable seed through God’s Word! When I put my hope for forgiveness and salvation in Jesus Christ, I am born of a seed that cannot be abolished – a seed that lasts forever and ever. The enduring Word of God gives me eternal, unbending life. Come seasons, winds, storms, difficulties, even death itself; but I will survive and live forever because the everlasting Word of God has been preached to me. And I have gladly and humbly accepted!