All people are like the grass, and all of their glory is like the flowers in the field.
The grass dies and the flowers fall when the breath of the Lord falls on them... Isaiah 40:6-7
I've spent the past couple of days thinking about my possessions. Luxuries that are 'essential' to my life, right up there with food in my fridge, water in my tap, and my four walls and a roof.
The things I've accumulated over the past few years and the materials I hold most dear:
My velvet couch, my iPod music, my TV (Broc is rolling his eyes here, haha), my guitar, my beach paintings, my Macbook, my scarves and purses, my Keens, my frames filled with memories...
Going back to the verse, these belongings are some of my 'flowers'.
I don't doubt that my life would crumble without them. Surrounded by a population of displaced and desperate people, I realize how ignorant that statement is. It's embarrassing, but it's the truth. I blame it on my privileged lifestyle. I have grown up in a world where there is an 'entitlement' factor to abundance and wealth. Shine and sparkle. Comfort and satisfaction. It's not luxury, it's life.
This earthquake has 'shaken' me up. Literally.
It has got me thinking about the things I am attached to on this planet. The security I find in ownership. The happiness that I rely on through the things I own. The trust I put in my wallet.
This is inevitable for us as humans to put our trust in what we have because it's all that is tangible for us, and it doesn't require any faith. Ouch.
And yet, in a matter of minutes, I know all too well that all of these things could be gone.
The things that I invest in. The possessions that bring me joy. The materials that make me who I am... Any minute, it could all be in a giant heap of rubble.
The concept that I have been trying to wrap my mind around lately is how temporary my time, my belongings, my LIFE is on this earth.
It's a snap in the wind.
It's a wave in the sea.
It's a flower in the field.
Here today, gone tomorrow.
Over the past month, I've watched the people around me deal with this reality. Multiple story buildings all over the city, homes, banks, schools, and government buildings crashed to the ground with no warning, destroying everything in them along with people's dreams and hopes of a brighter tomorrow.
By the grace of God, the structures on our mission still stand, but that doesn't mean we're home free. The aftershocks and distrust in the ground underneath me linger.
Nothing is guaranteed, and there is nothing I can do to change it.
It brings me feelings of despair knowing that no matter how much insurance I have, or health coverage, or money in my bank account, it can't guarantee the preservation of anything. Life and everything in it is so fragile. It's sickening to think that permanence does not exist.
And yet there is one large disclaimer to all of this.
There is one thing that withstands the wind, the waves, and even the ground that shakes under my feet.
He is the One that is over it all.
And oh, how He loves us.
How he yearns for us to accept His sovereignty and believe that there is so much more than what this earth has to offer.
Picking up from the verses that started this blog...
... The grass dies and the flowers fall, but the Word of our God will live forever. Isaiah 40:8
FOREVER. What a word of hope.
I want to have a faith to believe there is more than just the here and now.
I want to have no other hope than to cling to the promises in His word. And what a promise it is... Far more wonderful than we could ask for.
A guarantee of perfect life forever, as God intended.
A reminder that in this world there will be suffering and defeat, but in Christ we will have the victory. An everlasting life in heaven with no more tears or pain or worry about what's trouble lies ahead.
This hope has been testified in the lives that showed up to church on Sunday. The benches overflow so much that they have to bring in extra chairs from the school. The people sing so powerfully I can hardly hear my voice amongst the chorus.
These people believe in something greater. They have lost everything, but it hasn't wavered their faith because they know that there is so much more to come.
How I long for a faith like that. How I long to let go of the ties of this earth and simply live.
May these days continue to teach my shallow heart what it means to hope for something much greater than I could ever dare to imagine. Something beyond what I can dream that will change me here and now. May it begin in me.