Isaiah 40:8 - The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever.
One of the tasks I completed where I work was to clean out a photograph file. Over a period of time many pictures accumulate, and it was decided to "purge" the files. Many of the photos were of people once employed by our company. Some of the people I knew personally. I had laughed with them and eaten with them and worked with them. It's surprising how may pictures were photos of people eating and celebrating with food and drink. Other pictures were of people who were being honored or awarded something for years of service or something else.
There was a picture of a man in his best suit, white shirt, and tie. I knew him. He never wore a suit except when going to church or some event like service awards. He looked unhappy in his suit, and I'll bet he was, for that wasn't his lifestyle. He loaded trucks. I wonder how many tons of things he lifted in his life and placed on trucks.
Another man looked shy in his picture. He wasn't used to having his picture taken. He worked with figures and finances, in a little cubby hole of an office, most of his life. Someone said they needed a picture of him for an anniversary, and he obliged. But he was uncomfortable doing it.
There was a picture of a retiring secretary. Her hair was done perfectly, and she was neatly dressed. Her face was furrowed by time. She was seated at her typewriter. It was an expressive photograph. I wonder how many letters she had typed, how many phone calls she had handled in her life. What did she think about as she rode the bus to work in the morning? What did she and her husband talk about after supper? How many children had she fed day after day? How many kids' colds had she doctored? What did she think about and say and do these days in retirement?
Photographs are records of events, situations, or circumstances people want to remember: people celebrating, people eating, people together with people they love or with whom they feel good. And yet, it seems to me photos are so easily forgotten. They're often filed carelessly, labeled improperly, or not at all. They're seldom looked at after a first showing and, often, they are finally destroyed.
Against all this, is something our Lord said: "I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20b). Times change. People change. You will get old. You will forget. You may be ignored. You may be neglected. Your worth to an organization may be forgotten. Your awards may be destroyed. Your pictures may fade, but God won't forget you. He'll always be with you. You will always have value to Him. You are His, bought with the blood of Jesus. You will live forever. His victory over sin and death proved that.
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, our lives are such a rush of circumstances and situations. Please give us the wisdom to slow down, visit You in Your Word, and take time to remember others. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
From The Lutheran Layman, April 1983 issue, by Jon Suel
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