#10 September 6, 2005
Lessons From My Own Back Yard
"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse". (Romans 1:20)
I love our backyard. Over the last 15 years we have let nature take it's course and it is now surrounded by trees and green ground cover with a smattering of color here and there around the yard.
Early this morning before most folks were up and moving, creation was alive and revealed the glory and power of God. The birds were singing, a rabbit and a squirrel were scampering around. I heard the sound of the breeze blowing through the trees. Off in the distance a ships' horn could be heard on the lake.
When the world and our own personal lives seem to be reeling out of control, God makes sure that He leaves us evidence that He still is. In fact, all through time God has always made Himself visible through His creation.
Psalm 19:1-4 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech, night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world."
Since the creation of the world God can be seen through what He has made. The Message says, "the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse". (Romans 1:20) In creation the everlasting power of God is seen. By observing His work, men are confronted with the living God.
In a broad sense, this past week has been hard on all of us. We are bombarded with images of catastrophic loss of life and property in the South. On a more personal level, you may be enduring a loss or catastrophe of your own, bombarding your thoughts with images that are just as frightening for you. But my Bible tells me that if I just take my eyes off of myself for a little while, maybe, just maybe He will show Himself to me. He's not hard to find, we don't have to look far.
He is in the sunrise of the morning and the moon at night. He is in the constancy of their rising and setting each and every day. When you doubt that He remembers you, look up at a starry sky and hear Him tell you that He knows each and every one by name. (Psalm 147:4). If He knows each star - He remembers you. He has engraved you on the palms of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). Learn a lesson from the birds - Jesus says that you don't need to weary yourself - He provides for the birds and you are much more valuable (Matthew 6:26). Two sparrows are sold for a penny, yet Jesus watches over them. You are worth more than many sparrows. Even the hairs of your head are numbered (Matthew 10: 29-31). Observe the expanse of the waters - their gentle beauty and their awesome power.
Take note of His faithfulness in the seasons. Year after year, the seasons change. And we know by natures' example that God is faithful and that spring will come to erase the winters of our souls.
When the warm summer breeze brushes across my face I like to think that it's the hand of God reminding me that He is there and that He loves me.
God's attention to detail is evident in His work. The minute fibers inside of a flower, each leaf, each blossom. He is just as concerned with even the smallest concerns of your life.
When we truly look at God as He reveals Himself in His creation, we are given peace. We are inspired to worship Him because He is splendid and beautiful...just like His creation.
See Him when He releases the rain from it's storehouse and praise Him because you know that it makes things grow, in nature and in your life. He is in the rainbow after the storm.
And the clouds remind us that one day He will come on those very clouds and we will see Him as He really is.
But for now, until that great and glorious Day - He has left us this amazing world - His majestic creation. His love letter to you. Sometimes it's not very dramatic but it is always there, constant, faithful - just like it's marvelous Creator.
The next time that you are overwhelmed, burdened with care, unsure of exactly where God is - touch a part of His creation. See what He has made and read the message that He has left to you. Focus on the One who created the whole universe and feel His peace. Remember, you don't have to look far. I know. He was there this morning - while I was learning lessons, right in my own backyard.
Until next week,
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