One of the necessities of life in New England in the summer is lawn care. Unless you lay asphalt over the entire yard the grass needs to be mowed, watered and weeded out of the flower beds. If the homeowner isn’t careful, the heat of the July sun will turn the lush green landscape into some brown scratchy stubble. If the homeowner isn’t diligent, grubs or weeds will chew up or choke out the intended vegetation. As beautiful as a fleshly manicured lawn may be, grass has got to be the most finicky and fragile of flora.
It should come as no surprise to anyone with a John Deere and a dream of a perfect lawn that God uses the imagery of the grass to describe the brevity of human life. The passage above, written by Peter who quoted Isaiah (and mentioned in many other verses in the Psalms and prophets), reminds us that we are like grass. We are subject to withering, scorching and choking. We are finite and fragile. We are like grass, which makes us susceptible to so many dangers.
The contrasting concept in God’s word is the nature of God’s word. Unlike the grass-like vulnerability of human life or the flower-like brevity of our greatness God’s word stands forever. The sun cannot scorch it, nor can invaders destroy it. Unlike the grass, the word of the Lord likened to the rock throughout Scripture. It is indestructible, incorruptible and eternal. The gospel will remain long after all of us have gone.
In case anyone were to assume because we are likened to grass that we are of very little value, allow me to remind you of that showcase lawn in your neighborhood. Every community has one of those lawns that makes all the other lawns on the street pale in comparison. They show a kind of love to their grass unsurpassed by the rest – deliberately watering, weeding and trimming each blade to reflect their devotion. We are not just grass; we are God’s grass. He is THE landscaper and gardener par excellence, exhibiting His loving care to nourish and strengthen us.
As I mow the lawn this summer, fighting the losing battle against the sun of “brown-out”, I will remember that God knows my frame – my fragileness and finiteness – and He alone assures my survival against the elements. I may be like a blade of grass, but I am well cared for by the Master of all, the Creator of all and the Sustainer of all. The same can be said for you when you trust Him to care for you as only He can. Allow Him to water you with the streams of living water and prune you as the expert vine-dresser so that you can increase your fruitfulness – and avoid being burned up!