The Word of the Month: "Steadfast" — Novella McClung
The word for today is steadfast. According to Merriam-Webster.com, steadfast means firm or firmly fixed in place. Steadfast also means immovable and not subject to change. Steadfast is not an oft used word today but we tend to ‘think’ in steadfast ways.
When you visit the Redwood National Park in California you will find trees taller than the Statue of Liberty – over 370 feet tall. You will find trees up to 2,200 years old. Redwoods reproduce from seeds similar in size to a tomato seed. All in all the Sequoias (scientific name) for the redwood (common name) contains an eco system of its own. One might think the majestic redwood trees are steadfast – they appear immovable, firmly fixed in place. Yet they are felled by a little ¼ inch long silvery moth. We think the redwoods will stay firmly fixed in place but they do not.
Notre-Dame Cathedral has remained an immovable shrine since its completion in 1345. It rises on the Paris landscape 315 feet high at the spire. Notre-Dame is one of the largest religious buildings in the world. Napoleon was crowned emperor in Notre-Dame Cathedral. It has remained immovable for over 650 years yet earlier this year we watched in horror as the Notre-Dame Cathedral burned. This great monument was not steadfast.
Mount St. Helens was the fifth tallest peak in the state of Washington. It came into being over 40,000 years ago and is considered our most active volcano today. It stands in the Pacific Ring of Fire and is considered the most deadly volcanic event ever in the United States. When the Mount erupted in May, 1980 fifty-seven people were killed; 250 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways, and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. The massive eruption caused a debris avalanche and triggered a 5.1 magnitude earthquake. What was once thought to be fixed, immovable was blown away. What once was 9,677 feet tall became 8.363 feet. Mount St. Helens was not steadfast.
We love to think that life itself is immovable, fixed in place but we look in the mirror each morning and before we catch our breath we have sagging features, gray hair or no hair, our eye sight is on the way out and we come to understand – life is not steadfast.
Two things come to mind that are steadfast. God’s Word, the Bible, has stood the test of time. God revealed His plan to over forty (40) writers. It took a period of 1500 years to compile the 66 books of the Bible. The Bible has not changed because God does not change. Men have tried to add, take away, change, and rewrite God’s Word but it is steadfast – God’s Word still speaks to each person/group. It has not changed. Right is still right and wrong is still wrong. God’s plan for our relationship to Him has not changed. If you live by His Word you will have help in times of trials; you will not be taken in by false teachings. The Word is dependable, true and steadfast.
The second thing that is steadfast is God Himself. Here we use the word steadfast but have no understanding of the meaning. We think we know the meaning but our definition does not apply to God. We are thinking in human terms. God is immovable. God is dependable. God is Sovereign. God is steadfast. God put into place a plan for us to have a relationship with Him. We messed up when we chose to sin – not obey God’s plan. God loved us enough to allow His only Son, Jesus to die for our sin. God’s love is a love that never gives up on us. God’s love is steadfast. That makes God steadfast. Psalm 107:1 reminds us that “O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast (my emphasis) love endures forever.” (NRSV)Where would we be without the ‘firmly fixed, immovable’ God who is steadfast in His love, mercy and redemption? God will stand the test of time. He is steadfast. Remember ‘His steadfast love endures forever’ (Psalm 118). He is waiting on you to follow His plan. Be steadfast in your love for Him.