Devotional — Look at all the vibrant colors

Published 5:07 pm Thursday, October 27, 2022

I had originally planned to go in a different direction with this devotional, but driving around these days proved too much for my weak will in God’s glory. Colors, colors, colors!

You have seen them, also, and they are glorious right now. This is even more of a gift to me as someone who has ritualized snapping the pics and posting on Facebook. One of my favorite sights is trees in splendid and vibrant transition when you have the full range of colors, when you see the tree’s entire journey across the color wheel. The attached picture is one of my witnesses to this.

But here is the thing – as beautiful and wonderful and glorious as these colors are right now, they are all a herald of death. This is so strange to connect something so beautiful and sought out to something else not beautiful and mightily avoided. We wall know the extravagant beauty all around us is fleeting and headed in one direction. Winter is around the corner, and all of these gorgeous leaves will be dead and gone. The trees will still have nice days but nothing like now.

In my reading of 2 Timothy 4, I see something similar in Paul’s thoughts to Timothy. At the very end of Paul’s life there is this flurry of glory. He appreciates his running of the race and fighting the good fight. He sees his work in the Lord through gratitude and confidence. He is a living drink offering that has been poured out. And he has a crown coming as do we all. The colors of grace in Jesus are vibrant and profound for him, but Paul is also nearly gone. Soon there will be no more Paul. His life will have walked through all the colors, and they will be but a memory.

One of my brothers in the Lord is nearing the end of his earthly walk right now, and this brought all of these thoughts to my mind. Maybe we can find the beauty of God’s heart working through our lives in every season, especially the one that comes at the end. It is easier when someone has lived a good long life, but we all carry shades of God’s goodness in our lived experience.

We are in a great progression to a glorious end. Maybe it is hard to see sometimes. Paul was executed. Maybe it is not as obvious as the trees all around us right now, but God’s goodness, faithfulness, loving-kindness, and glory are most real in our last days. He was preparing to meet his Lord in faith. This is an example to us all. There is something beyond beauty in the simple idea of finding ourselves in God’s perfect and enduring embrace. May the glory around us remind us of the glory growing within us, and may our confidence in Jesus witness the glory to come throughout all of our days, even to the end.

REV. DR. PETER SMITH is the pastor for Farmville Presbyterian Church. He can be reached at pastorfpc@centurylink.net.