Shared Sept. 7th, 2014

Beloved

Joel 2:25-26, 25 And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you. 26 And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that hath dealt wondrously with you: and my people shall never be ashamed.

We have been talking about the ending of Summer and we looked at some of the saddest words in the Bible, Jeremiah 8:20, which also served as our key verse in the past few exhortations; the verse says, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.” Beloved, if you’ve never made a serious commitment to Jesus Christ, do it now, while there is still time. After all, Autumn (or Fall) is a good time to focus on your commitment to God.

There is a common phrase or saying, which is, “the autumn of life.” In an alternative way, some refer to this saying as the “golden years,” “retirement years,” “advancing years,” “declining years,” or even “a second childhood.” As you can tell, it refers to the last part or the latter portion of one’s life.

Obviously, this saying is presumptuous in that such a saying expects an individual to live to a ripe old age. However, it is a metaphor, which in its simplicity likens one’s life to a component of the 4 natural seasons when the time for planting, growing, gardening and flowering is over; when yard work around the house is suspended because the temperatures slowly but surely begin to drop, and the days become shorter. If you have the benefit of living in the frigid part of the world, during this season you see the leaves on certain trees start changing colours, then one-by one they drop; furthermore, the natural world (as you have known it for those few Summer months) edges toward dormancy as outside activity becomes less and increasingly less.

The matter here is that “the autumn of life” is a phrase that sends a message, that it is the time when one’s death is closer than one’s birth. But in reality, life is not so. It doesn’t matter how young, handsome or beautiful you are, death can come knocking on your door at any age and at any time. You cannot for sure and neither can you authoritatively say that you will live to see “the autumn of life.” In fact nobody can; only God.

Sure, the autumn years is supposed to represent the splitting of a person’s lifespan into the seasons of the year where one who is in his/her autumn years would be 3/4 ‘s through his/her expected life span. But as we have seen, it could be deceptive to think that you will live that long. But if you are already in or about to enter the autumn of your life (for some, it could be seventieth or eightieth decade of existence), you will know that you have far more time behind you than ahead of you.

After looking again at Jeremiah 8:20, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved,” which also served as our key verse in the past few exhortations, let me say that it is not too late because the autumn of life is or could be a strange mixture of many things: nostalgia, blessings, hope, and potential. Maybe this autumn will yield the harvest of seeds you’ve sown much earlier or throughout life and if so, it should therefore embolden you to brace the dropping of the leaves and prepare you for the cold and colder days to come. And the reason is that you know that you planted seeds much earlier!

But if the preceding paragraph does not apply to you, then the pressing question that you really need to answer is, “How can I take advantage of this coming autumn or the ‘autumn of life’?” Our main verse says God promised, “I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten…” Because of God’s divine forethought, He the Omniscient One knew all very well in advance your lot and your situation and mine, of course, and so I am telling you that He can be trusted with what has happened to you/us in years past.

Maybe for you, it is a justified case of “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved,” but I encourage you thus, that the autumn of life is a great and splendid time to focus on God and His wonderful blessings: family, friends, work, strength, shelter, provision, guidance, care, fruitful ministry, opportunities to serve, more time to pray and study His Word, and eternal life still to come. satan will want you to focus on ‘the summer is ended, and I am not saved,’ but instead, use it to galvanize you into action, purposing not to repeat the same mistakes over, and over, and over again.

Beloved, the seasons shift and turn; remember to remain close to God during the shifting seasons of life. And let me add, that come autumn, come winter; so, don’t be the president of the state of denial; winter lies ahead and if winter comes, can spring be far behind?

Proposed prayer: “Dear Father, Your Word says You’re the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). I know that You, O Lord, ‘Abide with me as fast falls the eventide, The darkness deepens Lord with me abide. Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.’ Thank You Lord for hearing and answering my prayer, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

Have a wonderful week and a prosperous post-Summer.

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