Well, the rain has finally ended and it seems nicer outside than it has been since March. Back then, the temperatures were unseasonably warm and I was hoping that we were going to have an early spring. Not to be… after that early teaser, the temps dropped and we have had almost nothing but rain for the month of April. And we have all heard the adage, “April showers bring May flowers.” Today, for really the first time in a month, I had a chance to go outside and just enjoy nature for a little while – after Pat and I took the lawn furniture out and got it set up on the patio.
Several years ago, we landscaped the south side of our home and this spring, for the first time, it has really taken off. There are three rose bushes under the breakfast area windows and they are just beautiful. Further down the side of house, the irises are starting to come up. Sadly, there are only a few of them so far, but I am hopeful that we will have a full complement of them soon. They are one of my favorite flowers – and I am always reminded of my parent’s iris patch along the south side of the home I grew up in. All different colors, beautiful combinations, and many different heights. I really loved those flowers and remember that every Memorial Day I would have to cut the blooms off and prepare the bed for the next season. I can never get enough of those flowers.
One of the other surprises I had today dealt with the new house that Kristin is getting ready to close on within the month. I went over to look at the condition of the yard and what tools I would need to start cleaning up the debris from the winter and early spring. The front of the place looks great…. perennials and bushes, even some ground cover, that look particularly good to me. Then I went around the side of the house to see what was happening there. More good fortune – perennials in bloom, bushes in great shape and then, as I rounded the rear corner of the house, at least twenty five blue-purple iris plants came into view.
I couldn’t believe it. They were absolutely magnificent – and next to them a patch of ferns that hadn’t even come up out of the ground the last time I was there three weeks ago. Selections of other perennials were scattered around the various beds and in the center of it all, a beautiful maple tree that provided shade for most of the back yard. Kristin is going to love her new home.
The point of all this is that there are different spiritual pathways through which we can identify with God. Some people embrace solitude, while others may appreciate prayer, community worship, silence, music or several others. But one of the main ways that most of us commune with God is through nature. Did you ever notice that when you are outdoors, or working with your hands in the earth, there is something almost divine about the experience? A wonderful sunset, a mountain range, a peaceful lake or some unexpected sight around the next bend are also clear evidence that God, in all His glory, created nature for our benefit. Even the rainbow is one of God’s wonderful creations – a sign of His covenant that He will never destroy the earth again with water.
Each spring I am reminded of the beauty of nature. Another memory of mine has to to with Janet’s grandfather – Stew. Whenever he was talking about looking forward to something, he would say that it was as welcome as the “flowers in the spring.” How true – we all welcome the “flowers of the spring.” I even spoke with Janet’s father on Tuesday and he mentioned how he had already purchased his flowers for the garden and was getting ready to get them planted. Almost all of us are energized with the beauty of nature.
Just try to imagine the creativity of God. The different types of flowers and trees, each one unique – with a special beauty and purpose designed by God Himself. The verse for tonight reflects the majesty of God’s creation. From Luke 12:27, we are told, “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.” Ain’t it the truth!!!
My encouragement this evening is to let you know that God created nature for you – I hope that you enjoy it. My prayer is that He will send you the same kinds of little surprises of nature that He has provided to me, as recently as today! So revel in the glory of the Father and appreciate the special gifts that He has created just for us. Grace and peace…