“…and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.”
1 Peter 1:4
Behold, the glorious Hemipholiota populnea.
The what now? I hear your confusion. Let me help you out.
The hemipholiota populnea. You know. The mushroomy thingie growing in this cottonwood.
Kinda funky, no?
Kinda cute, really. I mean, it’s fuzzy and looks like little fairy balconies. What not to love?
Well, the truth is, this tree is – well, on its last legs, to put it bluntly. The fact that this mushroom is sporting its little caps and pushing through the bark is a bad sign for the longevity of the tree. Inside the crusty outer layer and inner tissues, where we can’t see it, strings of mycelium are already throttling the life out of it.
It’s being decomposed from the inside out.
Eaten alive, to be exact.
A bit like a psychological thriller – ‘a mild day in the forest goes horribly, horribly wrong when a monster goes on the rampage…’
And yet, it’s such a common circumstance that it won’t even make the news. Members of the fungus family are constantly at work, invading sensitive cells, spreading delicate organic fingers into every nook and cranny, changing wood into compost.
A messy but necessary function.
Because in the world we live in, decay is the norm. Plants are seeded, root, and grow – and then die. Ditto with animals and birds.
A harsh and uncomfortable thought.
Which makes heaven that much more beautiful!
Just remove that one curse – the curse of decay – and you have something – well, rather heavenly.
Nothing rotting. No flies or maggots or yucky smells. No mould. Nothing past its prime, on its last legs, or trees falling in the forest for anybody to hear.
(Sorry. Couldn’t resist that one.)
No aging. No dialysis. Cells never degrading. Disease a thing of the past. No cellulite, age spots, varicose veins, hearing aids, or glasses.
Death a distant dream.
So. What’s eating you?
Probably a lot, since you live in this fallen world which is filled with decay of all sorts – physical, moral, emotional, spiritual.
Yeah. I know. Sometimes the realities just bite. Literally.
If you belong to Jesus today, may I remind you of your inheritance?
You know, the reward waiting for you in heaven. The one that can’t rot. The one that can’t be stolen. The one that inflation can’t devalue. The one that time can’t erase. The one that God has especially chosen for you, to bless your socks off when you arrive.
Yeah, that reward.
Ah, friend. There will be so much joy, so much delight, so much amazement and awe when we see what has been planned for us one day.
When whatever’s eating you gets to you worse than usual, hold on to this hope.
A reward. Pure. Undefiled. Beyond the reach of change and decay.
A blessing straight from the hands of a good and loving God who is in control. A God who willingly stepped right into our decay and defilement to offer us this hope.
Take comfort in this promise with me?
Father, thank You that this system ruled by decay will have an end, and we will one day be ushered into Your presence to enjoy beauty and perfection and peace forever. Encourage our hearts as we learn to balance our struggles with Your promises. Amen.