A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:6-8 ESV
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
in all generations.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or ever you had formed the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
You return man to dust
and say, “Return, O children of man!”
For a thousand years in your sight
are but as yesterday when it is past,
or as a watch in the night.
You sweep them away as with a flood; they are like a dream,
like grass that is renewed in the morning:
in the morning it flourishes and is renewed;
in the evening it fades and withers. Psalm 90:1-6 ESV
An annual is a type of plant that completes its life cycle in one growing season. Grass and many flowers are examples of annuals. The seed sprouts, it grows, it produces its own kind of seeds, and it dies–all in less than a year. Trees are called perennials, because their life cycle lasts for more than two years. Most trees live for many, many years, and the oldest individual tree in the world lives in the White Mountains of California. It is a gnarled, twisted bristlecone pine tree, and it is over five thousand years old! Most people don’t know which tree it is because scientists are keeping it a secret to protect people from hurting it. There is another bristlecone pine tree in this area that is almost five thousand years old, and this one is named Methuselah, but which tree is Methuselah is also a secret.
The prophet Isaiah compares all people to grass. We sometimes think of ourselves as important and our lives as long, but even compared to a bristlecone pine tree we don’t live very long, and compared to God and his word, we don’t live long at all. The Lord and his word are forever, and compared to that we really are like grass and flowers, which are alive for a very short time and then wither and die.
We don’t like to think about how short our lives are, and how we will all die someday, but it’s something that’s important to remember sometimes. We need to remember that there is something much bigger and more important than us, and that is God and his word. It’s good news for us that God is bigger than we are, because sometimes things happen that we can’t control or understand, and it’s good to know that our powerful and forever God is in charge. We don’t want our lives to end, but death came to us because of sin, and there is nothing we can do on our own to stop that. But God is able to help us, and he’s given us a Savior because he loves us. Jesus became a human person and died to pay for our sins, but he didn’t stay dead. He rose again on the first Easter and defeated death forever. We will die someday, but because of Jesus death isn’t the end of our lives. We will live forever in God’s heavenly kingdom because Jesus has made us his own and given us his life for now and for always.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us and giving us eternal life through Jesus, our Savior. In His Name, Amen.