We’ve been having an unusual amount of rain recently – the wettest March in around 40 years. One thing that strikes me whenever I drive through the streets is how green everything looks. Front lawns are lush and verdant, abundant in life. Most people I talk to are fed up with this rain, but the grass absolutely loves it.
I think back to only a few years ago when, instead of days of continuous rain, we were living through a drought. Where I lived wasn’t hit too hard, but I remember driving out into the country one day and I saw vast fields of parched, yellow straw. Such a dramatic comparison to what I’m seeing now. Well-watered green grass is a beautiful thing but when the sun scorches and there’s not enough rain, we see how fragile grass really is.
In Psalm 103, human beings are compared to grass. Like grass, we might have our days when we feel strong, nourished and ready to take on the world. But many times, we’re like that drought-stricken grass, made dry and brittle by the problems surrounding us. We’re also described like flowers. At least with grass you can stomp all over it and it still pretty much keeps its shape. Flowers are so fragile. We trample on them and they’re gone.
Human beings are fragile. We’re tossed about by external circumstances. We have no control over that which is outside of us, we scarcely have control over ourselves sometimes. And one day, we’ll meet the same fate as the grass and the flowers. We may be in bloom now, but the day will come when we’ll wither and our time on this earth will be no more.
It’s not a very cheerful topic, is it? But, like a ray of light bursting in on the darkness, we remember that God has compassion on his children…for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. God is unchanging, his glory and his kingdom are everlasting. He stands above all others, not tossed to and fro by changing seasons. And this inexpressible God looks down at us fragile creatures and has compassion. Deep, fatherly compassion. He knows that we are like grass, he knows our life is but a breath. And he has made provision for that.
We don’t have to be perfect because the perfect one has died in our place. We don’t have to do it all because God is in control. He sees us and he knows us, and oh, he loves us deeply. Rest, fragile flower, in that glorious truth.
Do you feel more like the well-watered or drought-stricken grass at the moment?
What does God’s compassion look like in your life?