Last week we completed the series we had entitled “Stand or Cower” and we looked in-depth at three major issues that we as Christians are faced with to make a decision as to how we respond to the position that most of our society holds today on each issue. I think, without exception, we have proved what God’s view is on the issues of abortion, homosexuality, and civil disobedience because our answers came directly from God’s Word. There is no doubt that there are other issues within our society that require us to take a firm stand but these don’t seem to be as prevalent as the three we discussed. So, far the most part, we can end the series with the reminder that our authority is God Himself and our real citizenship is somewhere else.
Tonight I want to change gears and move in somewhat of a different direction. As most of you know, today is the first day of fall according to the astrological calendar and we can expect leaves to begin changing colors and then turn loose, the grass to become dry and dormant, and the temperatures to start a slow downward spiral. We are thus reminded that from the day that God finished His creation, the seasons have come and gone every year and everywhere on this old earth and will continue to do so until the Lord’s return. This is what we know as the autumn of the four seasons. But there are two other autumns I want us to consider.
The first one is what I call the autumn of God’s time. I’m referring to His plan that He has had from before the foundation of the world. His plan to provide the way for man to be reconciled to Him and then a specific length of time He has set aside to give man the opportunity. And of course only God the Father knows what the time duration is. However, I believe we are not too far from that time to come to a close. There are so many signs that we can recognize from the descriptions found in God’s Word that certainly makes it appear the end is nearing. I’m not sure whether we are in the beginning, the middle, or near the end of His autumn of time but I do believe winter is fast approaching.
The other autumn that I want to consider tonight is what I call the autumn of life as our post title indicates. What I mean by this is that many of you and certainly myself have more than likely lived more than half the years of our lives. If we consider the fact that the average life span today is somewhere between 80 and 85 years depending on our gender, we can compare the seasons of our life very closely to the climatic seasons we experience.However, for argument’s sake, let’s assume the life span of a person has now reached 90 years. if that is so then anyone who is 22.5 years old or less would be considered in the spring of life. Those who fall between 22.5 and 45 are in the summer of their lives. And those who are between 45 and 67.5 in the autumn of their lives. And folks I am at the very end of my autumn. And I know many who are in the same situation as me. That also means I am about to begin the winter of my life.
With all of this said, why is the autumn of life so important? Well, I can speak only for myself, but let me share with you my observations and my thoughts. The last few years have had a great impact on me. I have realized that I am no longer invincible and that parts of my body are beginning to wear out. Obviously this affects me physically which also results in additional mental and emotional stress. Like the leaves on a tree, my leaves are turning color and some are falling off. But the thing that wears on me the most is not my physical, mental, or emotional condition but spiritual condition. I have come to the realization that I am still so short of what God wants me to be and time is running out. Therefore the things that I once considered most important in life have waned in comparison to what truly is important. But I am so thankful that God has brought me to the point of understanding that what I do for Him and His glory is what true life is all about. He has given me a desire and hunger for His Word much greater than I’ve ever had and a greater desire to share His Word with others. This includes the good news of His glorious gospel but along with that how God’s Word has the answer to any and all things in this life and many for the life to come. My greatest desire now is to finish strong! I realize that at my age I will most likely begin to encounter major health issues, loss of loved ones close to me, probably some criticism and maybe even persecution. But this I know. He who began a new work in me will complete it just as He promised. And even though I am in the autumn of my life He still expects me to strive everyday to be what He has called me to be. I know that he still has great things He wants to do in my life. And I pray that when I come to the end of the winter of my life I will leave a legacy that He and my loved ones will be proud of.
If you are in the autumn of your life or even winter, God still has great plans for you. Never give up and finish strong with me.