This morning is the first time I've joined the monthly VP calls. Thankfully I'm on Eastern Standard Time and got to start at 8AM instead of midnight like those in Fiji did! I set up my computer on my window seat, which gives me an immediate view of the magnolia tree right outside my room. I love this time of year watching the magnolias bloom, but I learned something new today: they open up very quickly...or at least this one did!
In the course of an hour, I watched this flower which had only slighted budded open into full bloom! Perhaps the rain sped things up, but I really couldn't believe my eyes. And I suppose it was quite appropriate as the VP's and leadership team were reviewing plans and resources to help assist national directors with their growing countries. Obviously, not everything in life will develop or grow as speedily as the magnolia outside my window, but there are conditions and care that will facilitate growth.
On a more somber note, it also reminds me that everything on earth is temporary, relatively speaking. Whether you tune into the news or just get out of bed, death haunts us in literal and metaphorical forms, confronting us at times with uncertainties and unpredictability. This morning's magnolia almost puts action to this sober reality that is confirmed in the book of Isaiah: "The grass withers, the flower fades..." reinforcing the need to bring the Good News to every person.
Thankfully, when Christ is our Lord and our source of Hope and true Life, we have security and stability that people, things, and plans of this world are unable to offer us. And while death is a reality, it isn't final. Jesus has power to resurrect. He gets the last word. To complete the sentence, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever." (Isaiah 40:8)