The grass wither, the flower fades; but the word of our God stands forever.
As many of you know my parents and I went to North Carolina several weeks ago to attend to their home, to downsize as well as to enjoy a change of place and a change of climate. I love the fall and it does my spirit good to see the beautiful autumn leaves in the colors of crimson, gold, orange, and rust. On this trip I got into a box of things I had saved from my birth through college. In a white envelope I found what was a yellow rosebud and it was still distinguishable after forty six years!
The rose was presented to me during my senior year of high school when I was inducted into the National Honor Society. I would have thought it would have been falling apart, but it was intact. Though the rosebud had dried you could still note that it had green leaves and yellow petals. I was amazed, but it certainly did not look like it did when I received it. I carefully put it back in the envelope and kept it with some other relics of my high school years.
On a trip north several years ago I collected some autumn leaves and carefully pressed them between two sheets of wax paper. Next I ironed them. The wax coating has made these fragile leaves more durable and has helped them retain their color. They, too, do not look like they did when I first got them! They are still beautiful and I store them carefully in a box. I can take these out or display them to ease my homesickness for vestiges of that season when I am unable to get home at that time.
The rosebud and the leaves may last for a little while longer before they finally get tossed. I am just grateful that they are in as good a shape as they are! When I opened that envelope and the boxes in which the leaves are kept, I was reminded of the prophet Isaiah’s observation of life. He wrote, “The grass withers, the flower fades; but the word of our God stands forever.” Those words are so true, certainly as they apply to Bibles, some of which may have been owned by some of our older or deceased relatives. They may be tattered and the pages yellowed and worn, but the word of our God still stands. As important as that is, it is even more important that the word of our God stands in our hearts. The word of our God cannot wither or fade there!
O Lord, Your Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path, We rejoice that while the grass withers and the flower fades, Your Word stands forever. Let it take residence in our hearts. In Christ’s name we pray. Amen.