Seasons of Renewal

By: Jim Virkler; ©2010

The universe we inhabit, brought into existence by the Creator, is governed by many laws. One of the most important is the second law of thermodynamics. In brief terms, this law states that since the creation event, all systems in our universe are generally running down, becoming less ordered. Sometimes order appears to increase owing to a transfer of energy, but the increase is only temporary.

In springtime, for example, growth of plants and birth of new animals predominate over decay and death, for spring is a season of growth and birth. In autumn the trend reverses and living things decline for a season. The energy flow which brought forth a burst of springtime growth reverses itself. Overall, the long term trend is for things to run down. This trend is an overlay of our universe, an inescapable law.

The same trend is evident from birth to death for every one of God’s highest created beings–man. Normally, from birth to somewhere around age 25, the human body gradually achieves it peak of physical condition, notwithstanding temporary setbacks due to illness or injury. After that, however, the downward trend accelerates, especially in the decades after threescore and ten. This trend is evident in all living and physical systems. It is the inescapable template for the universe God created.

Physical death exemplifies the inevitability of this pattern for every member of humanity. Within the last few days, we have experienced the death of a beloved family member. Because this loved one knew Christ as his redeemer and savior, the acute sadness has been tempered and balanced by many reminders of the new heaven and new earth described in Revelation 21:1 and by the promise of Christ in John 14:3.

Many comforting object lessons are brought to mind. The day following the funeral, many relatives were standing a few blocks away from the famous Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove, New Jersey, a venue for the message of the Gospel for more than a century. The very warm afternoon was suddenly transformed by a refreshingly cool sea breeze. At this time of year along the New Jersey shore, unequal heating of ocean water and land masses results in reversals of air currents and sudden temperature changes.

In the midst of our second law-dominated world, God provides opportunities for relief from pain, discomfort, and sadness. We experience relief in this world and the promise of entry into the new creation to come.

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