Grass Today, Gone Tomorrow
“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field.” 1 Peter 1:24a
Last night my favorite hockey team, the Vancouver Canucks, beat the Minnesota Wild 3-0, and one of their best players, Henrik Sedin, earned two more points to pull away from Claude Giroux of Philadelphia to top the total-points race. When your team is winning, it’s easy to bask in their accomplishments and take them on as your own. I do that.
And yet if you see who the scoring leaders are, some names are conspicuous by their absence. Among the top five skaters you won’t find Crosby or Ovechkin. Among the top goaltenders, no Luongo or Miller. Of course Crosby struggles with post-concussion issues, but the others are just not at the top of their game. They play well, but their current glory is faded.
When Peter said that all of us are like grass, and our glory but like flowers of the field, he was picking up on the prophet Isaiah’s wording to convey the idea that our lives, achievements, and head-turning performances may be amazing today, but gone tomorrow like sunflowers in August heat.
Peter goes on to finish his idea. He says …”the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever.” What is ‘the word of the Lord’? Again context helps. A bit earlier Peter wrote:
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.” 1 Peter 1:19-21.
So the word of God is Jesus, and it’s through his death that God overcame sin and Satan and proved to everyone that he really is looking out for us. And so the glory belongs to God for what he has provided in Jesus’ redeeming death, rather than our efforts to be ‘good enough’ or to ‘measure up’ in God’s economy.
Sometimes I need to remind myself of that. Like elite athletes, my achievements are here for a season, but their ‘glory’ isn’t lasting. They may be a good sign that God is working in me and through me, but they are still just gold and silver which are not enduring. But thank God that Jesus’ achievement opens the door for us to know his salvation forever, like a flower that never fades.
Questions: Are you working diligently in this life to try to prove your ‘glory’ to God? What is keeping you from receiving and relaxing in the gift of God’s salvation through Jesus?