Streets of gold
I believe God gives us glimpses of heaven here on earth so we’ll be excited about seeing its promised streets of gold. I also think that he allows us to enjoy autumn’s beauty so we’ll be in a good mood before the onslaught of winter.
The colors this year have been glorious. Once the reds and oranges faded, yellows of every shade took over. Returning from Hayward recently, I enjoyed the boreal tamaracks whose feathery, bright yellow, needlelike leaves shimmered in sunlight. And fallen poplar leaves turned the road into a street of gold.
Unfortunately, the beautiful leaves of autumn don’t last. Their colors fade, they become thin and transparent, and they blow away, are burned up, or are trampled underfoot. We might compare them to the proverbial gold pieces we collect or cling to in life. Eventually, they lose their luster and attraction. We may enjoy them while they last, but we must know that eventually they too will disappear, unlike the eternal streets of gold in heaven.
The Bible says we’re here only for a time. Hebrews 11 tells about men and women who remained faithful to God without having received the promise of their heavenly reward. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth … truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God … has prepared a city for them.” (verses 13, 15, 16)
Perhaps they enjoyed the beauty of nature, the comfort of home, as we do, but only for a time. Knowing they were mere pilgrims, however, traveling from earthly home to heaven, they kept their focus on their eternal, God-promised home.
The apostle Paul viewed his earthly citizenship similarly. “I press on that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me … forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12-14 in part)
Lord, thank you for the beauty of your creation and especially for the hope of living eternally with you in heaven, the most beautiful and fulfilling home of all. Place in our hearts the humble desire to focus on you alone rather than on the temporary, goldlike things of this earth. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Mrs. Bair may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.