In the spring, the temperatures moderated. In the summer they grew hot, before moderating again in the fall, and plummeting in the winter. Likewise, the spring brought Easter, the summer Independence Day, the fall Halloween and Thanksgiving, and winter Christmas and New Year’s Day.
In the spring, we planted, in the summer we bush-hogged and gathered hay, in the fall we harvested crops, and in the winter we repaired implements and mended fences. The undertakings of the year were clearly defined and dictated by the respective seasons in which they unfolded.
As a child, I saw this system as fairly entrenched, and rarely questioned it. So much so that when the Women’s Missionary Union in our little Baptist Church put on a program titled “Christmas in August”, complete with a Christmas tree in the vestibule right in the midst of the summer, I was greatly disturbed.
Christmas was great. I longed for its coming all year long. As was August, with its long days and warm nights. But in my mind, the two were incompatible. One did not belong with the other.
I share these things because of what happened to me this week. My wife and I spent an entire day the first of the week putting a new set of shingles atop her “she shed” out in the back yard. The following day, we cut grass. The next day, we mowed off and trimmed the trees behind our house. All these activities are perfectly suited to summer.
But about halfway through this process, I began to feel a certain tightness in my chest. 24 hours later, it had grown into a cough, then a sore throat, a gravelly voice, a headache, and general tiredness. Naturally, given the times, I found myself fretting the possibility of Covid. Fortunately, I tested negative, and soon realized that I had somehow just come down with a good old fashioned summertime cold.
All of a sudden, things are out of place. I cannot breathe through my nose, and must use my mouth. I cannot sleep at night, and cannot stay awake in the day time. In the midst of the heat of August, I find myself shivering with chills. Thus, I find myself inside under a blanket when others are outside in shorts and t-shirts. And I am eating hot soup in a time when people normally desire ice cream.
The point in all of this is that I expect to undergo such things in the midst of winter, but not in summer. Obviously, something is out of kilter. Things are clearly out of sorts. The expected order is gone.
In all of this, I have been reminded that what I am undergoing is really just a picture of what happened to men and women as a whole in the Bible. Genesis, chapters 1 and 2, tells us that God created the world, and filled it with all sorts of good and wonderful things before placing Adam and Eve within it. At that time, all was right with the world – literally, as all was in order.
But then came Genesis, chapter 3. A terrible sickness, as it were, suddenly invaded this world. The Bible calls it sin. It is a sickness, not of the body, but of the soul. It infected Adam and Eve and all their descendants right down to this very day. And the entire world has been out of order ever since.
Fortunately, for me, my doctor diagnosed my illness and prescribed just the right prescription. So, in the end, I will invariably pull through. Even now, I feel like I am on the mend, and I cannot wait to be whole and find my world right-side up again.
What my doctor has done for me physically is nothing compared to what my Lord has done for me spiritually. In the fullness of time, the Apostol Paul tells us, God sent His Son to redeem us and to put our world in proper order again.
Thus, when we come to the end of the Bible, in the last few chapters of the Book of Revelation, we find that what was made and then broken in the opening chapters of Genesis is ultimately remade in the form of a brand new world.
When that day comes, never again will things be susceptible to decay or destruction or death. By God’s grace, things will once again be as they should be. The world will finally be in order once again; and it will stay that way forever!
Amen! Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!