About this time last year, my bride and I were given a precious gift by the people of Thrive Church – a mini vacation. We didn’t spend a lot, and we didn’t go far, but it was a precious gift to us – a much needed rest.
We spent the first day with friends in Nashville, then caught a flight to Atlanta, where we spent a few days. We spent some time at a few tourist favorites, like the Georgia Aquarium. But mostly, Angel and I spent some time together. We talked about things – our children, Thrive Church. We never hurried, and while we had a list of things to do and see, we determined that we would do them if we felt like it. Time was our slave, even if it were just for a few days.
I took a lot of pictures, and I really do look at them often, bringing my mind back to that peaceful and rejuvenating excursion. Recently I decided to get a personalized, hard-cover photo-journal printed (thanks, iPhoto). It arrived today, at the office. I spent a few minutes sharing it with coworkers, smiling at the memories released by each tuned page. We’ll have this tangible reminder for years to come.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
but the word of our God endures forever.”
Isaiah had the privilege of announcing the coming release of the people from a long captivity. His words are a mix of warning and celebration. “We will be free soon,” he says. “But let’s not forget why we went through that.”
While they endured their exile, God did not abandon them. He sent men like Isaiah to urge them towards repentance and change – making them ready for they day they resume their call to be the priesthood for the world. Through it all, God continued to speak to them through His Word. Nations may fall and people may sway in the wind. But God’s Word is forever.
No matter where we find ourselves – in exile or the mountaintop – God’s word is with us. Just like that nifty photo-journal, always at hand. With each turned page, God’s grace is released into our lives, encouraging us at life’s bends and slopes.