#681: Dependable Permanence
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Reflections by the Pond
November 10, 2014
His radiance is like the sunlight;
He has rays flashing from His hand,
And there is the hiding of His power.
Before Him goes pestilence,
And plague comes after Him.
He stood and surveyed the earth;
He looked and startled the nations.
Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered,
The ancient hills collapsed.
His ways are everlasting.
° ° °
No matter how substantial it may appear, nothing, absolutely nothing in or about this world—save its human souls and God's word—is permanent. Everything around us, whether crafted by the fingers of man or God, will change, and eventually pass away. Stately trees and majestic mountains, skyscrapers and vast cities, grasslands and cavernous valleys—all will be done away with.
Man is born with a need to depend on something greater and more permanent than himself. Even if he labors against it in theory, in practice each person knows there is a God, and that there is something attractive about Him. One component of that attraction is God's permanence—His eternity. Everything else may crumble about us, but the triune God remains.
Still, some spend a lifetime in a vain search to find that dependable permanence on this temporal plane. Some put their faith in their own species, reasoning that since modern man is evolution's highest result, it follows that he will endure and only continue to rise ever higher. Some put their faith in man's inventiveness and technology, trusting in his scientific advances to be man's salvation and hope. Others put their faith in the work of their own hands, building ever higher and smarter and stronger, crafting their modern idols from concrete and steel and curtains of glass. Some get it half right and conclude that man on this earth is doomed, yet search for their salvation in the stars, rather than in heaven.
We all need something on which to depend—something that will never change. We all want to rise in the morning with the assurance that things around us will be as they were when we pulled up the covers last night. We want our house still to be standing; we want our husband or wife still by our side; we want our children still to be in the next room and still loving us. But none of these things are permanent.
We must look somewhere beyond this temporal plane for something absolutely dependable, unchangeable, permanent.
Not only is God Himself eternal, but who He is is eternal as well. His character is unchanging, His regard for those who belong to Him unfaltering. God's love for His creation, His people, is dependably permanent.
A psalm. For giving thanks.
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
Psalm 100:1-5 NIV
We all want to be able to stand upon a firm, unmovable foundation. Search as we may, we'll not find it here. We can travel around the globe, dedicating our lives to the pursuit, but our search will be in vain. Mountains will crumble, valleys will change, and grassy hillsides will be reshaped to receive the next strip mall.
But God, the great I AM, remains.
° ° °
O Lord! My heart is sick,
Sick of this everlasting change;
And life runs tediously quick
Through its unresting race and varied range:
Change finds no likeness to itself in Thee,
And wakes no echo in Thy mute Eternity.
Frederick W. Faber