Expectation and Glory in Autumn

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We drove through New York’s Adirondacks yesterday. The mountains were heaped with orange and gold, and even under cloudy skies their autumn glory glowed, almost bursting with brilliance, as though they know a secret and cannot wait to sing it out.

Driving winding roads slowly, surrounded and soaked by such splendor, we had time to consider the secrets these mountains know and might be aching to tell.

Creation is waiting, Paul writes, eagerly longing for the day when “it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay” (Romans 8:21). Creation is groaning under the curse that sin brought to the world; yesterday I saw the world aching — aching to be free of that curse and proclaim the full grandeur and magnificence of the glory of its Creator.

It was easy to imagine the eager longing to be free, the longing to be completely what God intends His creation to be, the longing to burst into an unfettered display of all of His glory. How magnificent this world is! And the grandeur of His new world is beyond my imagination!

If creation knows this secret and waits for that day with eager longing, how much more can we, children of the Almighty God, look forward eagerly to the glory and freedom of the resurrected new life He had promised us! Yes, Paul says, even our bodies will be rescued from the death and decay they suffer now. New bodies, new lives, new freedom from the curse we live under now. Living in the full splendor of God Almighty’s glory! I could feel the energy of expectation in those golden mountains!

***

We talk about seasons of life. Youth is spring, with its budding newness. Summer is full-blown strength and vitality. Winter looks toward the end, when the bloom has faded and the activity of the year seems to ebb. I know there are many flaws in these metaphors, yet I considered the autumn of my life as we drove through the glowing Adirondacks. Am I in the autumn of my life? I don’t know.

But I do know that I desire with all of my being to blaze with God’s glory as my autumn settles in. Let my life glow with praise of what He has created in this new life He gave me. Let the hills and valleys and highways of my life be transformed by His glory as He creates me anew. I may have to wait until a future day for the new body, but the new life is already in process …

For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have [turned to the Lord] can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord — who is the Spirit — makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. (2 Corinthians 3:17-18)

And so I  hope that my autumn is glorious and that it reflects the One who gave birth to this life. Let this new creation within me declare the glory of the Lord, “so all who see this miracle will understand what it means — that it is LORD who has done this, the Holy One of Israel who created it” (Isaiah 41:20).

Amen.

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