During a great portion of my life, the month of August has been a transitional time. Both as a student and as a teacher, I enjoyed the last days of “freedom” before re-entering the classroom for the next nine months. Now, even though I no longer return to school, the already-shorter days promise fall, even though the heat remains unabated. Sometime during the first two weeks of August there is a full moon. Sitting in the backyard late in the evening, enjoying the soft California air as midnight approaches and the silver light casts shadows from behind the trees, I feel both wistful and grateful. Somehow the quiet night, punctuated by crickets and the occasional screech owl, makes me feel my need for the wisdom and strength of God to do what He has placed in front of me. Simultaneously, I am grateful for His signature in the moonlight, His statement that His eternal power and divine nature are the foundations of reality.
August is a transition in another way for both Richard and me. Our birthdays are on the 6th and the 2nd, respectively. This year our record-setting July heat, which hovered in the neighborhood of 110 degrees for days, broke in time for us to enjoy celebrating. Richard always takes my birthday off, and he makes sitting in Border’s Book Store sipping iced coffee seem like a holiday.
On August 5, the day before our Friday night FAF Bible study group came to dinner to celebrate Richard’s day, I got up early to tend our roses. The temperature had dropped below 60 degrees the previous night, and dew had settled onto the bushes. They had suffered in the heat of the preceding weeks, and blooms were relatively scarce. One rather small bush, however, had a stunning, perfect bud. As the sun began to shine over our neighbor’s pine trees, the rays lit the drops that encrusted the red velvet petals.
I ran for my camera, hoping to capture the promise of this dewy bud to share with you. The killing heat never has the last word. God is faithful, and his promises are sure. He causes streams of water to flow in the desert, and he makes it blossom like a rose.
During the heat of this August and the uncertainty of the immediate future, this I know: God never fails. Where He calls, He also provides. His plans include provisions he doesn’t reveal in advance. Our responsibility is to act in faith, trusting Him and following His leading. In Him, we are secure, even when we can’t see beyond today.
“But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:21-23, ESV). —Colleen Tinker, editor
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