GRACE IN THE GROWING SEASON

We took a delightful excursion across heartland America this week after months of mostly mandated hibernation.  We met some dear friends from Columbus for a picnic at a park about an hour-and-a-half drive east of our home in north suburban Cincinnati. The weather could not have been more perfect—bright sun and clear blue skies. We stayed off the freeway and stuck to two-lane roads across rolling hills, lots of trees with the first flecks of fall colors, and farmland filled with corn and soybeans nearly ready for harvest. All of God’s rural tranquility and beauty and abundance was a powerful anti-depressant for this old country boy after the daily news of recent months. “For the earth is [still] the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof” (1 Corinthians 10:26). That fullness was on display in the thousands of acres of withered cornstalks heavily laden with grain, marking the end of the growing season for corn, promising a bountiful yield in return for the farmer’s investment. It reminded me that the end of my growing season draws nigh as well, as is plain by the withered stalk I see in the mirror when I step out of the shower, but my yield is a pittance for God’s immeasurable investment in me. The weeds and bugs of sin have stunted my return. If heaven had to be earned I would be in big trouble. But, thanks be to God, it does not.  

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

That is the best anti-depressant of all, and no one can take away my joy (John 16:22). 

See you in church.

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