Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered outside the gate. Therefore, let us go forth to him outside the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have no continuing city here, but we seek one to come.
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Last night, I walked outside in the late evening, it is unusually warm and bright in this part of the world for this time of year. I saw the stars dancing in the night sky and a white moon poured out its glow like a liquid, covering everything. My heart was smitten with gratitude for life and peace. I thanked God for the quiet time, realizing that it did not have to be, that God could have given us war, misery, and trouble as so many people around the globe so often must face. The silence about me became beautiful, a symphony playing a love song from Jesus, whose touching, sweet tones drowned out my thoughts from the hectic day just ended.
It was all from God. The stars, the peace, the songs, the warm evening air, the moon, the smell of autumn. My soul was filled with a sense of gratitude for life, and I could not refrain from thanking God for everything; for strength to take my evening walk, for the peacefulness, and even (taking a deep breath) for the health to breath in and enjoy the moment.
It struck me that God had done all this on purpose. He had given me this moment in my life on purpose. He had blessed me with my present health on purpose. He had given me my home, my family, my work, my friends, on purpose, and because I loved them all, I was overwhelmed with thankfulness.
Darker days will come. It is the way of this world that nothing lasts forever. Weather experts are forecasting cold temperatures to arrive in just a day or two, and when they arrive, this balmy late autumn will meet with a sudden demise. My strength to take evening walks will wane with the years; the stars will fade to my eyes long before they fall to the earth; the simple health that now allows me to breath deeply in this pleasant night air will also fail me. And those whom I most love will leave me, one way or another, willingly or unwillingly; or I will leave them, willingly or unwillingly. And I know that it is the awareness that all these changes must come to pass, the knowledge that everything in this world must change, that helps make so much around me now seem precious. But it is God who has given them, and while we have these blessings with us still, we can be humbly thankful to Him for them, we can value them in our hearts, and we can rejoice for them while they last.