But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
A few traditions have evolved from the social media movement. We now celebrate special days like, "Star Wars Day" (May the 4th) or Throwback Thursdays with old photos. Because November is the month we celebrate Thanksgiving, many people on Facebook, myself included, like to post something for which they are thankful each day. Some folks give thanks for big things like health or second chances at life and some note little things like a piece of chocolate or a hot cup of tea.
Today is November 2 - as I drove down the road today I pondered what I would post for my Thanksgiving status. My life is full and wonderful with a loving husband, three beautiful daughters and I am thankful for my physical and mental health. Those weren't the things that struck me today, however, as the view from my windshield caught hold of my attention.
I think everyone says they are thankful for fall foliage at least once this month but today the foliage made a very distinct point to me: Life should be vibrant and beautiful and full of fire even on the way to death. Furthermore, Christ's life was the most vibrant on the way to His death on the cross and we, as bearers of His image, ought to imitate that life being sure of our purpose and carry out God's plan, no matter the cost.
Seems a little heavy to think of ourselves on the way to dying but as the Bible says we are but a vapor - time is short here on Earth. James 4:13-14 says: Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. We don't need to live in fear or dread of death when we know the Lord but we need to remember not one of us knows when we will be called home. We need to be mindful that our lives count and matter to someone here and to God and because of that not to waste a single moment.
Christ also had a purpose and a mission in everything He did, every word He spoke, and in every relationship He made. Nothing was frivolous. Like Jesus, we need to be intentional in our kindness, our contact, and the commitment of our time. Isaiah 50:7 prophetically declares that Jesus would set out to complete God's plan of redemption no matter what and Luke 9:51 describes Jesus fulfilling the prophecy: When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. Today, the autumn trees and bright sun reminded of that face like a flint, set out to complete the task set before Him.
God's creation is getting ready to lay down it's life just for a while, to go to sleep and ready itself for spring revival - much like Christ's death, burial and resurrection. But first - a show of autumn glory. Ambers, reds, oranges and yellows declare God's purpose and process in all things. Life is not meant to be dull just before death but breath-taking and surprisingly beautiful in order to glorify its Creator. I don't believe that glory looks like worldly fame and possession but like humility, gentleness, and kindness.
My Thanksgiving Prayer today is:
Let our lives be vibrant like the leaves in Virginia and like the life of Jesus. Let us let God make us beautiful in every season. Let us set our eyes on His purpose for us and bring honor and glory to Him as we set this world ablaze with His love for everyone.
Be blessed today, Friends and be a reflection of His glory.