“For the fruits of all creation, Thanks be to God, for these gifts to every nation, Thanks be to God.” [HY 231]
The familiar Harvest Hymn brings back so many memories of Harvest Festivals in the church with the displays of fruit and vegetables and the sheaves of grain. I remember the churches I have served in the past amid farm – land where you had to be early on the road to avoid the tractors. They can be a nuisance if you are in a hurry but we have to remember how important they are.
Driving through the countryside or even just looking around our own gardens at the moment fills us with wonder and glory and a greater appreciation of the wonder of Creation and the greatness of God. The colours are stunning, glowing in the autumn sun and brightening up the day and gladdening the heart.
The autumn of life is a strange mixture of nostalgia, blessings, and potential. It yields the harvest of seeds we’ve sown throughout life and braces us for colder days to come. When life’s autumn arrives, we look back and better understand the way God led us; but we still have work to do—the best and fullest. It’s a good transition time.
Yet we must remember that the seasons come and go, so focus on the God who remains unchanged and unchanging. “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, even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God” (Psalm 90:1-2).
The times we find ourselves in are unwelcome in many areas of our lives. We seem to go two steps forward and one back just now and it is disconcerting and hard to take. People are anxious about the future and find it difficult to cope and perhaps it is the not knowing that is the worst aspect of all that is around us.
But amid all the changes, one thing, one person, never changes—our eternal God. J. I. Packer points out that God does not change. His life is always the same. His character is always dependable. His truth, ways, and purposes do not change. His Son does not change. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever.
His children will enjoy His fellowship a million years from now. The world may fade, the stars may fall, the seasons may change, and winter may come. But the God who has been our help in ages past is our hope for years to come. In Him we have permanence, stability, joy unshakable, and life unending. When we place ourselves in His Hands then we know that we have placed ourselves in Kind Hands, when we decide to follow Him, then we know that we are on a path where He is the guide. He who made the earth, the beauty of which we can see all around us, will hold us in the palm of His Hand and that is such a comfort as we remember that “God is our refuge and our strength”. May God Bless you and keep you.
LET US PRAY
ALMIGHTY AND EVERLASTING God,
For the beauty of the earth we praise and thank you, for the colours which glow in their intensity, for the fruits, the vegetables, for the grain and all good things to sustain us we thank You.
For Your constant Love and Presence we thank You, for being ever mindful towards us, we praise You.
Lord, sometimes life is difficult and we find ourselves facing change which like the seasons moves on and sweeps us along. Give us the strength and the courage to face the days ahead.
Lead us Heavenly Father lead us in all the days ahead, as we place our full trust in You.
We ask in Jesus name,
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