by Grandma Betty
A couple weeks ago while driving through our neighborhood,I realized the Rose of Sharon shrubs were in bull bloom. These shrubs bloom in late summer every year – never in spring. I always think of them as a farewell token of our summer season.
Each year, they seem to arrive earlier than the last year, before I’m ready to “shift the gears” of my thinking to the approaching autumn: cold, rainy weather, falling leaves, and school busses. Ecclesiastes 3:1 comes to mind: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” If there is one thing we can count on, it’s that the seasons and situations of life are constantly changing!
As I reflected on the Biblical passage which follows this verse – the listing of all the elements of life, - I was struck with awe at God’s perfect wisdom. In verse 14, the thought of finality is expressed: that whatever has happened can’t be changed or added to later (a sobering though). Solomon says that God does this so “that men should fear before Him.”
The experiences of our lives, as we look back upon all that has happened and how the Lord brought us through, should give us much hope and encouragement for the future. What we were able to do as a younger person, we cannot accomplish in later years. This truth hits full force when I try to carry a two- or three-year-old up a flight of stairs! The Lord knows this and has in His wisdom geared our lives and capabilities accordingly.
The seasons of life change, and so do the opportunities. From a young mother’s point of view, it looks as though she’ll never escape from the crowded house, with the cries of children and unrelenting duties and confinement. But in practically no time at all, the children are grown and gone; and she looks back with some feelings of regret over missed opportunities.
Colossians 4:5 says to “Redeem the time” – use our present opportunities to witness, to help others, and to reflect Christ in our daily contacts with others, because the time is short (Psalm 89:47). As the fall season of our lives rushes upon us, we know for certain that the time will come very soon when “There should be time no longer” (Revelation 10:6).
This thought could be sad, as we look at the experience of life we took for granted when our children were small; and yet it’s cheering to realize that God has even better things in store for the future for those who put their trust in Him (1 Corinthians 2:10).
The blooming of the Rose of Sharon signifies the end of summer and the ushering in of a new season – but the REAL ROSE OF SHARON, our Lord Jesus Christ, is the ever-present Creator, who has all seasons under His control (Isaiah 40:28-31).
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