to be in His presence..the same way we are. Today as I was walking through the valley I suddenly saw everything around me in a new light. As I looked at the trees and plants.. I saw them reaching up to the Lord. It was as though they were showing me that they long for more in the same way we do. It was a surprising experience.
I love nature and try to get out into it as often as possible..I appreciate the beauty that lies just outside my front door..particularly when Spring begins to show its face in the flowers and lush green leaves of the trees. It is easy for me to remember that God created all of this .. it is a gift He gives us every day. Today was different because I could sense the longing of creation for its Creator. God seemed to be saying that as we long for Him and reach for Him in that same way, He will bring growth to us and we will bear fruit for Him.
I saw this picture of how all creation, including us, waits for the day when all is as it should be. Even the plants and trees will be their perfect selves..everything will be made whole and beautiful. We live with this desire throughout our lives here and God wants us to live as fully as possible each and every day. But the truth is we will not experience life fully until that day when His work of redemption is complete.
I can live with that..knowing that He is working and bringing to completion everything and that someday the perfect world that we long for will be ours!
“Let’s hear it from Sky, With Earth joining in, And a huge round of applause from Sea.
Let Wilderness turn cartwheels, Animals, come dance, Put every tree of the forest in the choir—
An extravaganza before God as he comes, As he comes to set everything right on earth, Set everything right, treat everyone fair.” ( psalm 96:11-13)
I thought of the title of this post while I was out walking this morning. We use this expression to express a different type of walking..it might be described as staying close to the heart of God..following Him..choosing His plans instead of our own. All of this is very important, but so is walking outside in nature with God. For me, it is a necessity.. I literally cannot keep going emotionally unless I get out and walk.
We live in a beautiful place so I am blessed to be able to walk out my front door.. right into nature. The reason I crave this time is because nature represents something stable and unchanging to me. The birds always sing..the grass always turns green after the rain..the creek always flows. In winter the trees always lose their leaves and their silhouettes are breathtaking. As spring approaches, daffodils poke up through the ground and the tips of the tree branches turn green. The flowers are in full bloom during the summer months and the birds seem to sing even louder. Then we have the beautiful fall show..the leaves turning color and drifting slowly to the ground. Wow!
Our Creator is working overtime in this world giving us glimpses of His artistic genius. It keeps me connected to walk outside and view His handiwork..it encourages me that He is never too busy to place beautiful clouds in the sky and to remember incredible sunsets. I just can’ t get enough of it! I truly hope you find the time to step outside and take in creation in all its glory..it will bring peace to your soul and rest to your spirit.
I have been having some of these over the last week. They are regular moments that could go by unnoticed..but something makes them incredible. I told my husband that I was having an “Enchanted April” moment on Sunday. That is a reference to a wonderful movie that my daughter and I both love. I used that term because I felt like I had stepped out of my life into a place where everything was perfect. In reality I was in my dining area standing at the window watching my husband barbecue chicken. Suddenly I realized that my life was amazing..that I live in one of the most beautiful places on earth in a condo with views that take my breath away. I was filled with awe at the goodness of God.
The same thing happened today while I was walking in our valley. The trees were so green and the sky so blue..the flowers were popping out in yellow, red, lavender, pink, and white. The stream that runs through the valley was rushing along and I could hear the sound of doves as they cooed and flapped their wings. A perfect day.. at least a perfect moment. Walking up my hill I stopped to pet a dog and he suddenly started barking and growling at me for no reason. The lady who was with him said that he was a good dog.. I didn’t concur. The end of the perfect moment.
We have those moments as reminders of the perfect place that our souls long for. The place where the colors are always vibrant..where the sky is bluer than we have ever seen it. The place where the creek is always full and there are more types of birds than we could ever count. The place where there are no dysfunctional dogs or people.. the place where there is no more pain or disappointment. The perfect place that awaits us after our journey here is over.
In the meantime.. enjoy those glimpses that He gives you. Stay with them as long as possible. Soak in the beauty that surrounds you..and cross the street when you see a dog you don’t know 🙂
” Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.”
We are approaching the finish line.. the year is almost over. A good time to reflect on the experiences of this year..to remember all that we have lived through. A great time to give thanks.. remembering that God came through over and over for us. We can choose to see the difficulties or we can choose to see His hand catching us.. His arms protecting us..His voice reassuring us.
The world is a tough place and there are no signs that things are going to get easier. We have no control over our future..but we have a God that promises to lead us. Can you see around the next corner? I can’t. My future is unclear and uncertain..but I know God’s heart. He is up to something. Let’s finish well..anticipating..with excitement..the good things that God will be doing in the new year.
Do you have any loose ends? Is there someone you need to thank? A call you need to make? An encouraging word you need to give or maybe a hug? We can choose to approach the finish line with hope and grace for those around us. I want to finish this year with a grateful heart..overflowing with thankfulness to my God. What about you?
“Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
I just pulled out my watercolor painting called ” Colors of Worship.” It has been a long time since I looked at it and I decided to hang it up so I could add some color to the room where I write this blog. As I was hanging it I realized that it said something that I need to remember. God gives us a colorful life..one that is interesting..exciting..challenging and surprising. Colors speak to me..in nature..in art..in food..in clothes..in my home..everywhere. Colors breathe life into our lives.
Can you imagine living life in black and white? Not me. I love the colors that God uses to communicate things to us. Right now I can see orange trees from my window..I have an orange rose blooming on my walkway. I just added a teal blue lamp to my desk. My mouse is sitting on a lavender book. My laptop is pink. All of these things do something for me..God invented color. He uses it in creation to soothe us..to delight our eyes..to refresh our spirits..to remind us of His creativity and ours.
How do we respond to Him? With grateful hearts that recognize that every good gift is from His hand. We show Him we love Him by how we live our lives..by our choices..by living sacrificially..by realizing His sovereignty..by giving Him everything and trusting Him totally. These are the colors of worship.
“Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me.”
At this time of the year we see those puffy white clouds drifting overhead. The afternoons can be sleepy and almost dreamy. Summer is finally gone..the rain has started..fall is here and a shift seems to be taking place. I usually feel melancholy in this season. I wonder if it is just the reality of another year almost over. Time is passing so quickly and here we are approaching 2011. What happened?
Life moves quickly..too quickly for my taste. I want to savour every day. To remain fully present in the moment so I don’t miss anything. It is a gift. Everyday is an amazing opportunity to experience life more fully. I’m not claiming I always do this..but my heart’s desire is to be grateful for every moment.. to appreciate each day..to enjoy the beauty that surrounds me. So much of my life was rushing from one thing to another..being so busy just surviving.. I don’t think I realized that someday I would actually begin to see the finish line.
I hope you are able to relax and enjoy the holiday season that is just around the corner. Taking time for long walks..deep conversations..meaningful relationships..wonderful meals..good books. Life is short and time flies. We can embrace this life fully.. if we do we will never be sorry. Let’s enjoy this amazing life that our Creator has given us..soaking it in..celebrating..remembering His goodness in the land of the living.
“For the Lord is good. His unfailing love continues forever, and His faithfulness continues to each generation.”
Last night the power was out in our neighborhood so we were able to stand outside and look into the sky without any interference from the street lights. We are on a hill near open space so there were no lights at all..the sky was amazing. It is so easy to forget that all those stars are up there..we rarely get to see them so clearly. The beauty of the sky took my breath away..God’s canvas..created for us.
I realized later why these moments in nature are so critical. Standing in our driveway and looking up I felt so small and the sky was so big. It puts everything in perspective. We can be so consumed with our problems and ideas..we become the center of our own universe. In reality we are part of something much bigger..larger than we could ever imagine. Standing on the shore of the ocean or at the foot of a tall mountain has the same effect. God’s reminders that we were created for more.. His view of the world is so different from ours..we can become so wrapped up in our small world that we forget the bigger picture.
So if you get the opportunity..go somewhere and take in His creation. Let yourself be reminded that you were created to enjoy beauty and to feel connected to Him through these amazing gifts He has given us. Let Him put things in perspective..allow Him to renew your heart and help you realize that His world is huge and the things we take so seriously are often smaller than we think. It is comforting and reassuring to remember the greatness of God..He set the heavens in place and placed every star exactly where we see it.. can you believe it?
” I look up to the mountains..does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord,who made heaven and earth. He will not let you stumble..The Lord himself watches over you.”