Is, Was, and Is to Come

“. . . the first and the last . . .”


 
“’I am the first and the last,’ says the Lord God Almighty, who is, who was, and who is to come.
” (Revelation 1:8)

I love spring and the chance to enjoy God’s breath-taking work displayed as a multiplicity of blossoms in a fantastic array of sizes, shapes, and colors.  I confess that I didn’t know the name of this flower so I walked into the midst of a United Methodist Women’s gathering and asked for help.  To me it looks a little like a lady’s “poofy” blouse sleeve with white lace on the cuff, but I’m told by my helpers that it’s known as grape hyacinth.   
I was taken not just with the intensity of the color and delicacy of the shape, but also with the arrangement of the flowers on each stalk.  If you look carefully you’ll see that on each stalk there are blossoms at the top waiting to open, blossoms in the middle in full flower, and blossoms at the bottom shriveling and dying.  It caused me to wonder . . .
 
We talk a lot about the importance of living for today.  Sometimes it’s very important to emphasize today in order to keep us from being overwhelmed by the difficulties and sins of the past or the anxiety of future anticipations and unknowns.  I guess it’s like wearing blinders to help keep us focused, effective, or undisturbed.  “Just take it one day or step at a time” can sometimes be an effective mantra.  However, the flowers on the stalks of grape hyacinth reminded me that it makes sense to live life in the context of past, present, and future, and living in that context might be the source for our true healing and peace.

“I am the first and the last,’ says the Lord God Almighty, who is, who was, and who is to come.”  That’s God’s promise recorded in the book of Revelations.  Is, was, and is to come pretty much covers the bases, doesn’t it?  By reminding us that God holds the beginning, middle, and end of all of life, God gives us the courage and peace to live life in the context of the past, present, and future.  We don’t have to struggle to forget the past or ignore the future, because God’s got it all.  We can embrace the past, feel forgiven for our sins, and learn from our mistakes and successes.  We can look boldly into the future knowing that whatever comes, God will hold us with tender, divine love, so we can make future plans and take healthy, faith-filled risks.  Living life in the context of past, present, and future means giving our lives completely to God who keeps promising the divine love that is, was, and is to come.  I pray that God will help me continue to respond to and live into God’s love that is, was, and is to come.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.


My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.

 
Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24
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~ by revgenelson on April 9, 2014.

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