The changing of seasons and the beauty of creation are great reminders of how amazing God is. A recent weather adventure in my home state of Minnesota reminded me of how much I love the variety of seasons here and how much we all appreciate spring.
On a Friday night in mid-April, there were no carts available in Midwestern grocery stores. The weather forecasters predicted snow in feet instead of inches, and while they had been wrong many times, there was a chance shoppers may actually be stuck in their homes and could not survive without milk, bread, and frozen pizza. The following day brought a blizzard warning and up to two feet of snow. Following the snow, neighbors broke out the shovels and snowblowers and got to work . . . and then they got to work again after the snowplows dumped what felt like ten feet of heavy snow at the end of driveways.
Six days later, children were biking and rollerblading in shorts, teenage girls were painting toenails on the back steps, and homeowners were breaking out the patio furniture and dusting off the grill. Neighbors were all out again, but this time there was energy, joy, and laughter. The birds were singing cheerful songs, the tulips were growing, and the last bits of ice were moving down the river. People who had not seen each other for months were stopped on the sidewalk, soaking up rays of sunshine while they chatted about how beautiful the day was, especially in light of the previous weekend.
I am often struck by the beauty of creation. It strikes me at times when I am quiet enough to see and when I am intentional about paying attention. Some of my favorites are the sky, the trees, and water.
“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1). The portrait of the sky is different every day as the clouds change shape and the sun changes its hue. There is brilliance in a hot summer day, power in the strength of a lightning bolt moving through the night sky, and a million other portraits in between.
There is little more beautiful than snow-covered limbs in winter, except maybe the deep-colored red, orange, and yellow leaves in fall, or the flowering buds in spring, or the intense greens of summer. Even the variety of trees is beyond comprehension. God blesses us every day with these items of beauty that sometimes are here for only a few days before moving to the next stage.
Water clearly shows the creativity and power of the Creator of the universe. The rushing power of mighty waterfalls, the quietly meandering streams, the stillness of a lake in the early morning, and the calming laps of the ocean move our hearts to greater peace.
There are so many amazing facets to creation that we could never tire of talking about: the miracle of the human body healing itself, the intricate perfection of a colony of honey bees, the production of a plant from a tiny seed, the vast array of creatures that live in the depths of the ocean, and so many others.
Take some time today to stop and reflect on the creation around you. Plan a time in the near future to spend time near the water and be still. Take a walk through a forest as spring awakens the land, and simply drink it in. The world rushes in and constantly presses against us. Be intentional today to stop and look around. As spring brings refreshment to the earth, allow the new life of spring around you to bring nourishment to your soul.
Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord from the heavens;
praise him in the heights!
2 Praise him, all his angels;
praise him, all his hosts!
3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars!
4 Praise him, you highest heavens,
and you waters above the heavens!
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord!
For he commanded and they were created.
6 And he established them forever and ever;
he gave a decree, and it shall not pass away.[a]
7 Praise the Lord from the earth,
you great sea creatures and all deeps,
8 fire and hail, snow and mist,
stormy wind fulfilling his word!
9 Mountains and all hills,
fruit trees and all cedars!
10 Beasts and all livestock,
creeping things and flying birds!
11 Kings of the earth and all peoples,
princes and all rulers of the earth!
12 Young men and maidens together,
old men and children!
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for his name alone is exalted;
his majesty is above earth and heaven.
14 He has raised up a horn for his people,
praise for all his saints,
for the people of Israel who are near to him.
Praise the Lord!
Heather Schmidt and Jodie Schmidt.