>I love nature. Not necessarily as an outdoorsy type of person – I would just as soon be inside as out except on those “perfect” days. But, I find it so easy to commune with my Creator when I’m surrounded by His creation.
I can remember two specific favorite locations from my growing up years. One was in the mountains of north Jordan where I grew up. To the west of our house, our hill overlooked more pine-covered rolling hills – the hills of Gilead. The immediate view was what remained of an 800 year-old castle. I could see the view from my bedroom window, but I also liked to go sit in the backyard of a neighboring house (frequently vacant because it was used as a guest house for our mission) on a small stone bench and look out over the valleys. I loved to watch cloud banks blanket the valleys. I loved to see those few spots of fall color where an occasional deciduous tree survived in the midst of the pines. When days crop up in which I really need to use all of my imaginations and energies to focus on the Lord, I imagine myself there. It was always easy to pray there.
I also remember being on the Island of Cyprus. It was during the first Gulf War, and we had evacuated due to tensions and some threats on my father’s life. It was a very uncertain time for our family, but God provided us a temporary haven on Cyprus before moving us on to an assignment in Spain. Being the off-season, we were able to stay in a townhouse right on the beach, and I was able to slip out of the house and walk down to the beach. I’d find a little knoll and just sit and watch the waves, the birds, the fish, and the ships anchored a couple of miles off the coast. The fall weather was beautiful, with a nice chill in the air in the early mornings and evenings. Oh, what beautiful, peaceful moments.
Just as I am pulled in to the beauty of nature, I often frequently allow myself to be distracted by the clutter of man’s presence. It has been years since I have lived in a place where I can regularly go and enjoy creation without that clutter. But, that doesn’t mean it is not there. God just has to remind me to open my eyes to look!
I typically sit on my bed to read my Bible and pray each morning. The shades covering the sliding glass door are typically closed, offering a bit of privacy. This week, though, they have been open because our windows have been open. The weather has been unbelievably cool and gorgeous for late August/early September in south Arkansas. We have thoroughly basked in the cool fresh air wafting through the windows.
I noticed something through the open window this week – I can see the sunrise! Not a full display, but a tiny glimpse. In the gap between our patio fence and porch roof, there is a small triangle of a gap through the trees where I can look into the eastern sky. In that small triangle, I can see a small portion of the beautiful colors that accompany a sunrise. I could barely take my eyes off it this week. I was filled with a reminder that my Creator is so amazing!
Sometimes God displays His handiwork wide open for us to see and enjoy. Other times, though, He does not allow us to see the full spectrum of His hand and His beauty. He just gives us little glimpses. It is a reminder – or at least it is to me – that He is in the big and the small. That He is with us regardless of what we can see. His presence is not affected by the fact that our vision is limited. It might be limited by circumstances, by pain, by confusion, or by our surroundings. But, it is still there. And when we begin to forget that, He gives us little glimpses of sunrise to remind us.
What is He using to remind you today? Whatever it is, He is there! Just soak in His presence!