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Archive for July 2nd, 2021

Where we live, in the Pacific Northwest, we typically enjoy a temperate climate … never too hot, never too cold. During our wet winter season it seems as though we live in a rainforest.

The recent days of early summer here have seemed like we moved to a desert. With daily temperatures reaching the mid 40°C (105°F) range and nighttime temperatures only lowering to near 30°C (86°F). These temperatures are not normal for this area.

Heat-related deaths have even been a very real reality over these sweltering days (and nights).

As the temperatures are now cooling my daily walks around our neighborhood have resumed. As I walked the other evening, I saw something that I had not ever seen before. Plants and trees showed clear evidence of having been damaged or killed by the heat of recent high temperatures.

Azaleas, lilies, rhododendrons, ferns, hydrangea, coniferous trees, roses and more browned and withered by the intense hot sun. Though many of these plants are native to this area, they were not created for such heat and they withered in place.

As I walked the devastation was everywhere. Not a garden was exempt from the damage the heat inflicted on the Earth. Some of the plants and trees will recover, but others, quite literally, have no life left in them.

The words of Isaiah 40:8 echoed in my mind,

The grass withers,
the flower fades,
but the word of our God
will stand forever.

In the Bible there are numerous references to our Earthly life as being like grass, trees or other plants. Often the verses compare their short existence to the brevity of our life.

Those comparisons were on my mind as I walked and, I have to say, there was a sadness in my heart. Sad to see these beautiful growing things burned by their environment. Sad to think of the areas where my life has also been burned.

Then my thinking drifted a bit. These plants that have been killed or damaged, it wasn’t because they failed, or weren’t watered, or were poor quality plants. They withered, faded and were burned not because they were in the wrong place, but because the conditions of the place they were created for changed.

This is our reality, as well.

When God created the human race he did so placing them in an environment where we could thrive. Then sin became a part of our DNA and we began to feel the burn of the world around us.

The thing is, we are in the right place, it is the conditions that changed. Yet, our souls continue to long for the life-giving refreshment of what they were created for. As long as we long for that Eden, we have certainty that it awaits us, that it is promised to us as we stick with the One who created us.

“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:17-18

“Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for those desires exists. A baby feels hunger: well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim: well, there is such a thing as water. … If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world. If none of my earthy pleasures satisfy it, that does not prove that the universe is a fraud. Probably earthly pleasures were never meant to satisfy it, but only to arouse it, to suggest the real thing. … I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country, which I shall not find till after death; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and help others to do the same.” CS Lewis (Mere Christianity)

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Karla Sullivan

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