1. Think of a famous person.
2. Think of a wealthy person.
3. Think of a powerful person.
4. Think of a person you deeply admire.
What do they all have in common?
They are like grass.
I Peter 1: 24-25: As the Scriptures say, “People are like grass; their beauty is like a flower in the field. The grass withers and the flower fades. But the word of the Lord remains forever.” (NLT)
Though that sounds like figurative language, it is more real than you may think. Imagine taking some blades of grass and leaving them on your countertop overnight. What would they look like the next morning? Dried up and brown. Less than.
Their beauty is like a flower in the field.
Just like grass, if we leave a flower on the countertop overnight, the next morning it too would be withered and “less than” the day before.
The flower fades.
I recently scrolled through a social media thread showing current photos of the celebrities I watched growing up — Robert Redford, for example. He has faded.
I have faded.
I look in the mirror or look at old pictures in albums. I too am older, less pretty, less toned. I am fading too. It occurred to me a few weeks ago that I won’t be at my current job in ten years, maybe not even in five. I can take advantage of senior discounts now. I regularly feel dismissed as “old-fashioned” by those who are younger and believe they know more. My children are starting their own families and live their lives without my daily assistance.
Time is closing in.
I am naturally taking stock of my life’s accomplishments as I process the reality of what I call “aging out.” I suspect you do the same. I can look at wealthy, famous people and sometimes feel small in comparison, like their lives were “larger” than mine. Their lives can also look easier. They can look more successful.
Truth is, they are just like you and me.
So don’t be dismayed when the wicked grow rich and their homes become ever more splendid. For when they die, they take nothing with them. Their wealth will not follow them into the grave. In this life they consider themselves fortunate and are applauded for their success. But they will die like all before them and never again see the light of day. Psalm 49:16-19
And so it is with people
We all are like grass that withers and flowers that fade quickly. This life is over so fast! Compared to eternity these lives of ours are a flicker of light, a speck of dust, and a blink of the eye.
What lasts forever?
A few things do, like God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit; and also the Word of the Lord.
We can spend a lot of time reading books and listening to podcasts, but their words don’t last forever like the Word of the Lord. I wrote a book in 2014 and would re-write it differently if I started to write it all over again today. Like you, I have moved along in my faith, experienced things that would now inspire new illustrations, have gotten to know God better, and some of my views about how to apply God’s Word to what I am seeing in society today have shifted. We humans are always growing and changing. We say different things in different ways between today and yesterday, but God’s Word stays the same and can be trusted forever.
“But the word of the Lord remains forever.”
Are you getting to know God’s Word? With the 24/7 access to media, it is easy to read the newest book from a current “influencer” and listen to interviews on podcasts, but I am reminded this week that authors and influencers are like grass that withers and flowers that fade. People offer wisdom for the moment but the Bible offers wisdom for all time. Studying God’s Word will produce a storehouse of wisdom in us that can be our anchor for the rest of our lives. When shared with children and grandchildren, those God-breathed Scriptures live on through generations in a way a book or podcast never will.
Souls last forever.
Let’s not forget as we watch young people select colleges and find employment, and become homeowners and have babies, that there is more to life than all of these things that can distract our focus and put us in a tizzy. (Yes, I just showed my age with the word “tizzy.”) The greatest matter in life is the destination of our soul. (John 3:16)
How God uses us in His Kingdom lasts forever too.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18: Therefore we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, yet our inner self is being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory that is far beyond comparison. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Picture Explanation: The flowers that fade.
Tizzy – a state of nervous excitement or agitation, origin unknown, originated in 1930’s.
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