Fallen leaves litter lawns. Trees stand bare. A northwest wind assails pedestrians causing them to turn up their collars against the bite. A chill of grumbling about the long months ahead frosts conversation around the water coolers. People talk wistfully of last summer’s fun and of retiring early so they can move to a country that has summer all year long. A place where the leaves never fall.
We forget that no place on earth is safe from change. Most of the countries with summer-like climates have tsunamis and typhoons and volcanoes and coups and runaway inflation and malaria. Better to look elsewhere for something changeless.
Where shall we look? Malachi reminded Israel that the promise of their escape from total destruction was rooted in the covenant promises God made to Jacob. “I the Lord do not change. So you, O descendants of Jacob are not destroyed.” (Malachi 3:6)
The storms of winter that will break around us need have no impact on our soul health. Like Jacob, those who have been born again by faith in the gospel seed discover that their soul-stability rests in God’s unchanging word. “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.” In this passage, Peter contrasts the frailty of mankind in general with the passing glory of grass and flowers. “‘All men are like grass and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.’ And this is the word that was preached to you.” (1 Peter 1:24,25)
The leaves fall. The weather changes. But in our hearts we can rest in God and his unchanging word. “Your word, O Lord, is eternal; its stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 119:89,90) God’s faithfulness guarantees his ongoing commitment to keep his promises. And his power enables him to actually fulfill them. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him . . . through these he has given us his very great and precious promises.” (2 Peter 1:3,4)