August 26, 2022
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, his mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ~ Lamentations 3:22-23
Two days in a row I visited the local Farmers’ Market, and each day I heard a different person say, “I’ll really grieve when….” They weren’t talking about a terminally ill loved one, but the end of the sweet corn/peach/cantaloupe/tomato season. I get it. I asked the clerk how much longer we have before the final harvest of summer’s local produce. Her answer, “Just a couple weeks. It’s usually done around Labor Day.” Gulp!
I have the same feeling each fall, knowing that I will miss those items, and look forward to their return the following summer. With the awareness that comes with age, I sometimes catch myself thinking, “I wonder how many more summers I’ll have to enjoy these delights?”
But then, it’s apple harvest time, time for mulled apple cider, apple sauce, apple pies, and roasted root vegetables. Then when it seems like winter will never end, fresh oranges and grapefruit will be available, asparagus and sugar peas, and before long the first strawberries will be ready.
Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, wrote two Old Testament books including the book of Lamentations (which is 5 chapters of lamenting). He had good reason to lament, as he witnessed the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem, the deportation of many even though he was faithful in trying to call the people back to God. Smack dab in the middle of the book of Lamentations comes the words above. If they sound familiar, it’s because you’ve heard those words in the hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
Amidst changing seasons, and a changing world. “Summer and winter and springtime and harvest, sun, moon, and stars in their courses above join with all nature in manifold witness to thy great faithfulness, mercy and love.”
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. That is enough. What might be the last season of this life isn’t the last season of God’s love. God’s mercies never come to an end. Who knows but that this season’s produce is simply seen in a mirror dimly of the glory yet to come. ~ Anne