“So, we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
Driving through the countryside around Wilmington this week, it was apparent that things are changing.
The corn, which had been so rigid and green, now is yellowing and bends to the wind that blows with the faintest hint of autumn. The tops of some species of trees are crowned with yellow and a few leaves have begun to drift down to the earth below.
Summer is still very much here and yet we can begin to see and feel the fall that is soon to come.
We are caught in these in between times in a dilemma. We want to cling to the warmth of summer, savor the longer days and enjoy the starry nights that beg us to linger with God as we gaze up to the glory of His heavens.
We also long for the coolness of the autumn, the splendor of brilliantly colored trees against a clear blue sky and perhaps most of all, we long for the harvest.
Even if we have nothing personal to do with agriculture, it is reassuring to see the farmers harvesting the fields and the trucks laden with grain on their way to the elevators.
In our souls we are all people of the earth and this annual drama of harvest reassures us that the Lord will indeed provide for His people. We remember that comforting verse in Genesis, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22)
As we anticipate and then see the harvest, we also know that following the fall season of bounty is the winter, long, cold and dark. We are naturally fearful of this time of cold and darkness and we begin to doubt.
It is when these feelings of doubt creep into our hearts and souls that we must turn to the Word of God to be reminded that all that we see here on earth in this life is temporary.
The spring flowers, the green corn, the golden harvest and the frozen pond are all but for a moment in the long run of time.
God is eternal and though He is unseen, He is ever present in our lives. It is God who changes the trees from emerald to scarlet and yet it is also God who Himself never changes.
We can cling to the unchanging God when our lives change too. When troubles seem to be like the endless winter or when the pain of loss leaves our souls barren and dry, it is the eternal God who is with us always. It is God who is the spring of life within us that will never run dry.
It is easy to cling to the eternal, unchanging God in a changing world, for all we must do is to go to Him in prayer.
A prayer may be as simple as it was for me driving through the fields this week. Mine was a silent prayer of thanks for the reassurance of His providence that the fields heavy with grain gave me.
Your prayer may take the form of a poem, a song or just a simple word or two. Our prayers are always changing; but the one to whom we pray will never change.
May you find a way this week to feel God’s unseen, but ever-present and eternal care and love for you.
May your heart sing with thanks and praise in whatever way seems most spontaneous and natural to you.
Debbie Linville is Pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Wilmington.