I swept the last of the faded flowers from the kitchen counter this week. Not just any bouquets. These were the ones sent to me by dear friends on the occasion of my Dad’s death late last month. The stunning beauty and bold fragrance encouraged me for a long time before they finally began to wither and lose their allure. Maybe I held on to them just a bit longer than I would have normally, but that was OK. Even though their state was faded, I could still see something of value in them… a stark reminder of the way of things on this earth.
Maybe they were just an echo of what God spoke in Isaiah 40:6 when the prophet was told to shout out, “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.”
Not exactly a message that most people would get excited to hear. I mean, who wants to be reminded that their existence is brief, limited, fragile and fading. (vs 7)
Fortunately though, that isn’t all the prophet was instructed to declare. He also reminded us that even in our frail state, there is hope found in the coming of the Lord and His promise to care for us like a tender Shepherd embraces the lambs of his flock. (vs 10-11)
As mortals, the truth is, we all are fading, but perhaps the lesson to be gleaned from my flowers is a reminder of the beauty as well as the brevity of life. And though my blossoms have now been swept away, we can take encouragement and hold fast to the knowledge that we are not like the bouquet… here today and discarded tomorrow. The herald of scripture is that this existence is not all there is. Our Father’s Love for us and promise of salvation for those who trust in Jesus is constant, unalterable and endures for all eternity.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being[e] rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.