This little devotional of sorts was so hard to write. But I believe I needed to write it. Caution: this material may provoke thought. 😊 Please read with discerning eyes. 😊***
These days it seems like people are dropping like flies. Who’s next? Centenarians, nonagenarians, young adults or teenagers? No age group is exempt. Yet we say, the end is not yet; our Lord has delayed His coming; the ‘countdown is at hand.’ Lovely platitudes, but what do they mean? I know growing up we sang songs such as, ‘Soon and very soon we’re going to see the King.’ Or, ‘It may be at morn.’ As Christians who believe in the second coming of Christ it’s been awhile since His last appearance. But has the wait been really that long for any of us?
So in one breath we can say and see that our loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and others have passed on. We can also see in society the cycle of life at play. In some communities families are still having children as if they were going out of style! Forgive my candidness. I do have a few children of my own. The world population is growing. According to google, the world population is growing by over 1% in 2019 and has grown for some time. We’re way above 7 billion. This doesn’t mean that we will never die it just means that we have more people living in the world at this time!
So what’s the deal? I recently researched different types of grass. The idea of doing so came about while reading a devotional where the passage of scripture quoted spoke about people being like grass. 1 Peter 1:24,
‘For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever….’
In the world, all kinds of grass exist. My brother-in-law’s lawn looks impeccable. The other day I spoke to him about what he has done to ensure that their lawn remains thick and healthy. It’s consistent effort. Watering. Fertilizer. Seeding and re-seeding.
For those who are into grass, the legal kind that is, 😊 grass matters.
According to Jesse Gray, a PhD student researching plant community ecology, there are over 12,000 species of grass. Bamboo is considered a grass as well as corn! Some grasses are perennial. Some grasses can live for tens of years while others have an annual lifecycle.
So the Apostle Peter says, we’re like grass….’ We’re here today and possibly gone tomorrow, or next week, or next month, one year or a hundred years from now. No grass lives forever. Not on this present planet. A sobering thought when you think about it. For me, this thought provides motivation to smile more, laugh more, live more and love more. No? What is man really, that we should slight, hate, disapprove, cast shade, or mistreat another blade of grass, when at the end of the day we’re just…grass? I’m not passing judgment. I’ve cast shade.
I traveled to Trinidad a couple weeks ago where after a severe dry season, grass all over looked brown. ‘Like grass’ means that sometimes we do turn brown—through a dry season, a drought, after a fire, or when cut and left on top of grass or bagged. In the rainy season or spring, grass can start off with such promise. The little blades come through the dirt and begin to flourish quickly. However, if the rain stops or the grass is not watered for any significant period, what? All the lushness disappears!
And so do all of us. We are born with promise coming out into the world. We can flourish with nourishment, with water, but at some point we may turn ‘brown.’ Eventually, we disappear!
‘What is man that You are mindful of him…?’ the Psalmist says in Psalm 8:4 NKJV
Individual blades of grass can sometimes seem insignificant. If a blade is lost here and there no big deal. More grass will come back up. But the good gardeners really care about each blade to the extent that the condition of one blade could be an indication of what is happening to the entire lawn. My brother-in-law says he inspects his lawn daily to ensure that any unwanted grass, fungi or blight is dealt with immediately. I also have a neighbor who diligently and meticulously grooms, and removes weeds from her yard. When her lawn is mowed it looks like a golf course.
There could be no greater privilege in this world for a blade of grass to be on a golf course taken care of by a landscaper extraordinaire. Grass can often be a pain and the bane of a landscaper’s existence. But it can also produce beauty unsurpassed making the effort worth it. For good reason some go the easy route by laying stylish blocks or paving their yards with concrete. To each his own. 😊
Grass or no grass, the Good Book says we are like it. For the most part, the earth remains. The moon and stars remain. The galaxies remain. The mountains remain—when there are no volcanoes. The skies remain. The elements of this world though polluted and diminished remain. But we don’t. We return to dust and often provide a base for grass to grow. The Marvel movies got it right by making ‘evil ones’ disintegrate into dust upon eradication. Truth be told, we all disintegrate at our end.
Being cognizant of the reality that grass doesn’t last forever makes me more appreciative of the God of the universe, the creator of heaven and earth, and everything in it. In the earth amidst all the chaos, beauty can be seen. Transient and long lasting. To some there is majesty revealed in high mountains and lush valleys. To others, plains filled with verdant landscape are tranquil and refreshing.
As grass often needs fertilizer, so do our souls. We can often find this in nature, genuine love one for another, and filled with God’s Word. The Good Book says,
“Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.” Psalms 90:12 NLT
Practical words! Throughout scripture we can find numerous passages that can be used to enlighten, direct, and inspire us in our daily lives. Words that call right right and wrong wrong. Who can refute the worth of scripture and the revelation of God in nature?
The ‘enemies’ of grass are often present in the yard. Grubs, and other little pests sometimes eat roots and make unsightly tunnels. I like the passage in Joel which speaks of restoration after destruction. Joel 2:25,
“…I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts….” NLT
I believe in heaven grass will not wither. Neither will we. Isaiah 40:31 puts it this way:
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” NLT
God’s promises are real for both now and the hereafter. Jeremiah 29:11 says:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” NLT
Another verse in Jeremiah says:
“…I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” 31:3 NLT
Certain types of grass are known to spawn new grass. They germinate early in spring or in the rainy season, and grow rapidly while making seeds. As some blades die others spring up. This becomes an enabling process almost like a ‘hot spot,’ where grass tethers grass. Can our lives be the same?
My mother wrote a poem that spoke to this idea. It’s one of my favorite pieces that she has written. It says,
‘For beautiful things come back again. Another life to live…’
I look forward to the time when my blades will be perfectly manicured, watered and fertilized by the Master Gardener throughout eternity.
By God’s grace!
The words of the song below seemed to tie in well to this discourse. The song was introduced to me by my father. It was his first solo as a teenager with a lovely baritone.
God is Good by T.O. Chisholm
God is good, the heaven’s declare it—Far off stars and beaming sun, Witnessing to hearts that listen In a language all their own.
God is good the earth proclaims it In a chorus loud and strong, Birds and flowers, fields and woodlands Joining in the tribute song.
God is good, we softly whisper When the deepening shades enfold, Even mid life’s pain and sorrow We His goodness we may behold.
God is good then let us trust Him Like the little children do, He hath given to his angels Charge concerning me and you.
Here’s the full poem written by my Mom:
A new world greets when we awake:
New life, new opportunities.
New attitudes we sure should take,
Melodious sonnets we must make.
For life is given just for today. With fresh zeal, let it live.
Create more beauty, come what may
And care not what other folks may say.
For beautiful things come back again,
Another life to live.
And new beginnings will return
That only God can give.
So live your life and live it well,
As it comes with each fresh, new dawn.
Revel in all its sights and sounds.
Let noble principles guide your will.
Forget the past with all its faults.
Let loving thoughts your heart fill.
Ignore the mean and all that foils,
And make of life a thing of joy.
For beautiful things come back again
Another life to live.
And new beginnings will return
That only God can give.
–by Phyllis L. Andrews