I had put this photo on my last post (in June, would you believe) as I had just begun the planting of my rock garden in the front lawn. Now it is in late August and here is the contrasting photo I took a couple of days ago. As you can see, it has been a really good year for the garden. I have totally enjoyed tending it (the little that it has needed) during these past few months.
As I pondered the difference between the photo’s, my thoughts went to the following verse out of Ecclesiastes 7:8a:
“Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof ….”
This is the truth as is seen in the photos. I am also reminded of a similar verse in the same book, Ecclesiastes 7:1b:
“Better is … the day of death than the day of one’s birth.”
Both passages are saying the same thing. The truth of the matter is easy to see in these photos. I have planted and watched and waited as the summer unfolded, and now it is almost Fall and I am receiving the splendor of the summer’s work and the end result is a glorious display. But is the death of these plants actually more glorious than their beginning?
As I have grown older, I have really wondered what was ahead for me. What would my end look like? After over 40 years of Bible teaching, and almost 35 years in Psalm 19, I was growing weary and wondered just how long I would be able to continue. Of course, until the Lord changed my instruction, I could not quit. I asked Him often for insight as to how to move forward in these later years.
Is it possible the Bible is right, even here in Ecclesiastes, that the end is better than the beginning? If I allow my experiences regarding the end of life and what I feel in my body to be the determining factor, as opposed to what the Word of God clearly states, would there be a hope into tomorrow that I might have missed? There certainly is a Fall and a Winter, these are true. Even in my Fall and Winter I know if I train my heart and my spirit to expect the good of all the Lord has for me, instead of anticipating and expecting the difficulties of what age brings, He will be faithful to me and to His Word.
To my delight and unanticipated joy, He has not changed my instructions at all! Instead, he has provided people for yet more and more ministry. He is opening new and exciting venues for His Word, and He has sent key individuals to help me move into those venues. The horizon holds hope and excitement, moving me forward in my thoughts and belief systems. How I praise Him!
Psalm 92:12-15 reads this way:
“The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To shew that the Lord is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.”
I choose to say yes to this Word and to trust Him in faith!
My heart moves forward, pondering His marvelous truth. I want to encourage you to have a beautiful today, whatever season you are experiencing, and a genuine hope for what tomorrow might hold.