Today is September 1, 2020. August seemed about three months long. This year has seemed to go on forever, hasn’t it? We’ve been through a lot this year already, and there are four more months to go.
Perhaps this year has been hard for you and your family. It has been for us. Think of other people you know who are on your prayer list because of illness, accidents, financial hardships, relationship troubles, and many other types of struggles.
And Covid-19! We’ve missed having fellowship with friends, missed going to worship at church, and missed out on so many other things we used to take for granted.
Our world and nation have seen so much turmoil. For good or bad, the political and ideological divisions are stark, with the fanatic fringes being willing to fight to the death for dominance.
Jeremiah 8:20 “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”
I’m ready for things to settle down. I’m ready for a change of seasons – with cooler air, softer light, and brilliant fall colors.
But does August turn to autumn today? The stores are already decked out with fall decorations, and I’ve seen commercials for pumpkin-spice everything. Do we wait for the equinox later this month to officially welcome the next season? Do we anticipate watching our trees turn from green to gold, or do we wait for the first cold snap to freshen the air? (We’ll wait for many weeks for that one, here in L.A. – Lower Alabama.) Even fall signals like school starting and football are not as usual.
I can’t wait for the external circumstances to determine my internal condition. Sure, it helps, but it doesn’t guarantee relief, happiness, or spiritual health.
2Corinthians 6:2 For he says, “In a favorable time, I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
Our hope is not in temporal situations. Not in any election. Not in a vaccine or cure for this pandemic. Not in an economic recovery. Not in the satisfaction of justice for every faction of society. Not in church growth movements. Not even a return to normalcy.
I hate to be Dottie Downer, but things may get worse. Yet, we fear not.
We have confidence by the assurance of the Holy Spirit within the believer that we belong to Him. That His Presence for strength and daily grace is sufficient. That’s a benefit of our salvation – being able to face our adversities as they come. However, there’s still that little nagging hole in our soul. It says, “Is this all there is?”
Nothing but the restoration brought about by the Lord, Himself will fully satisfy the deep longing in our human hearts. And it’s coming.
We’re closer than we’ve ever been before.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.“
It just may not look like it right now.
On the Jewish calendar, this is the month of Elul. It’s a time of self-examination and repentance to prepare for the High Holy Days: Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles next month.
I’ve heard many Christian preachers recently issuing a call for repentance in the Body of Christ. We may think all those unsaved, unrepentant sinners out there are holding us back and messing up our world. There’s some truth in that. But we all need a heart check-up, and it must start with us. Otherwise, we give “them” a reason to believe everything they assume about us. We have to clean up our act so the Light isn’t blurred by dirty glass.
The prophet Micah lamented what he saw around him and despaired, seeing little fruit in his life.
Micah 7:1 Woe is me! For I have become as when the summer fruit has been gathered, as when the grapes have been gleaned: there is no cluster to eat, no first-ripe fig that my soul desires.
He goes on to describe a violent, godless society around him, where evil flourished. But still he says:
Micah 7:7-8 But as for me, I will look to the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Rejoice not over me, O my enemy; when I fall, I shall rise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD will be a light to me.
In the meantime, stay humble. Keep a heart of repentance. Rejoice in all things. Share the Word. Be vigilant. Be fervent in prayer. Love more. Remain hopeful.
When will this stressful time end? We look for relief. Fall always follows summer. The Lord is faithful to His Word. We can count on it.