Old Faithful

Surreal times we’re living in. You never expect to live through events that students will debate in future history classes. Or in a time that feels eerily similar to novels you read in high school. As a meme I read recently poignantly put it, “Damn, I’m kinda tired of living through these major historical events.”

I am in my room an average of 20 hours a day, I would guess. Recently, I’ve been working in my flatmate’s room while she’s out at work, just to shake things up a bit. Woohoo! People aren’t allowed to get married. The capital of my country was recently stormed by an angry mob. Yawn. Just another Wednesday anymore. I’m pretty sure that somewhere in Oregon or Washington there’s still a zone that has declared its autonomy from the U.S.A. Hugging friends and singing in public are strictly prohibited. Europe is mad at the UK because the UK isn’t sharing enough of its vaccines. Countries, regions, cities, individuals shut their boarders and withdraw inward – a fractal of isolation. Could I have imagined living in this world (and somehow even becoming adjusted to it) a year ago? No. Never. Everything is upside down, and as the days roll by it feels like we’re only getting further from the possibility of normal life ever returning.

And then I look at the rose that lives on my windowsill – my lockdown rose. It gave me a scare when I got back from my Christmas holiday this year by abruptly shedding all of its leaves, but now it’s full of buds and one by one they’re shooting out with new growth. I can practically watch them unfurl, they’re growing so quickly. Life. It goes on. Everything feels different. Everything seems broken. Us humans have done just about all we can to turn the world on its head and ensure that nothing is as it should be. But I walk outside and it’s still spring. (Yes, spring comes astonishingly early in the UK.) The daffodils and crocuses and snowdrops are in full bloom, decking out the grass, and the air smells sweet with new blossoms.

2 Timothy 2: 13 (ESV)

13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.

God cannot be other than what He is. He is faithful. The sun rises every morning, as it has since the beginning of time. The tides come in and go out day after day. Spring comes after winter, as sweet as it ever was. God sends His rain on the just and unjust alike, as He always has. In spite of everything His creation carries on, obstinately reliable. He is the quiet, ever-present power that holds the universe together. The life that won’t be quelled that thrums through every plant and creature. A faithfulness that continues day after day, appreciated or not, deserved or not. We have the nerve to look around after a year and question His faithfulness and love. What is a year? A drop in a bucket, a ripple in the ocean, “a mere nothing,” as the saying goes.

His faithfulness is millions of years of painting sunsets. It is endless cycles of rain and sun that coax a harvest from the ground year after year. It is billions and trillions and quadrillions of colonies of tiny creatures, constantly recycling our world for its next phase of growth. It is the constant, repetitive exchange of oxygen for carbon dioxide and carbon dioxide for oxygen that we share with plants. It’s a hundred thousand springs that were magically reborn out of a hundred thousand frozen winters. It’s untold numbers of new, green leaves that grew back in the place of their fallen golden predecessors, the fulfillment of the unspoken promise that there will be new life to replace the old. We witness it every moment of every minute of every day, yet still question it. It’s a “can’t see the forest for the trees” situation; caught up in the silly little inconveniences and disappointments of life we forget to look around us at the endless evidence of His faithfulness, goodness, and love.

Faithful He is.
Faithful forever He will be.
All His promises are yes, and amen.

Let’s not let ourselves be convinced otherwise.

7 thoughts on “Old Faithful

  1. Your insights are spot on. You made me think of Philippians 4:8 “Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of a good report, if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on THESE THINGS”. I await our Spring here in Michigan, which will be awhile. We are still under a lot of lockdowns and the sky’s have been pretty gray. But you reminded me that each day we can see God all around us and can choose to think on those things that He’s made for us that are pure and lovely, just and true. Isn’t that really all we need? Blessings to you!!!

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      1. What? That is awesome! Now I know why you have such a love of God! I used to be in the ministry but left around the same time your parents did. My brother also left. I’m not sure if you know him, he is Rev Jonathon Smith and his wife Michelle.

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  2. “Excellent points made, concerning “God is faithful”, He is as faithful today as He was throughout history. What a standard we have to look at in our day and time no matter the circumstances.

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