It happens every year. By the time August rolls around, I’ve had enough of my least favorite season. The hot weather makes me feel as though I’m dragging through the day, drained of energy as I tackle chores and errands. Then I’ll step into a store and my attitude will do an about-face. The home decor department will already be stocked with autumn merchandise. I’ll stroll through the aisles looking at scarecrows, pinecones, miniature bales of hay, and autumn leaves. As I meditate on the sights, sounds, and tastes of my favorite season, I feel a surge of anticipation and excitement. My energy revives as if brisk fall breezes are already blowing on my face. Throughout the rest of the day, I’ll think about the arrival of autumn in a few months and feel the same tingling excitement.
Whenever I look at Scriptures about the second coming of Jesus Christ, I realize that my longing for autumn should be a mere shadow of my eagerness for the return of my Savior. Paul expressed what my attitude should be when he wrote “….we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies” (Romans 8:23, NIV). This eagerness is meant to be shared with others. We are instructed to “encourage each other” with words about our Lord’s return (I Thessalonians 4:18, NIV).
God wants me to live each day in anticipation of the event that will mean the exchange of my earthly body for a new imperishable one, and my removal from a temporary fallen world to an eternal heavenly home. When the oppressive heat of summer gets me down, I can know that autumn is coming. When the troubles and sin of this world get me down, I can be sure that a far better life is coming.
Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including Designed for Devotion (Baker Books), which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs (such as CBN.com and FindingGodDaily.com), contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ 2013 Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.