Posted in Joy
Scripture: “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NIV)
“Go outside!” How often did we say this to our kids when they were young and complaining of boredom? It’s actually advice that I take!
Every day after lunch, I go for a walk around our small backyard, which includes a few flower beds, a patio with potted plants, and a pergola. There’s always lots of work to be done, but I enjoy the wildness of this spring growth. God’s creation – the plants, the weeds, and the scurrying creatures – has much to teach me.
I begin along the sidewalk appreciating the new growth on the Croton the boys gave me one Mother’s Day. Around the corner, a Gardenia is just ready to flower, beside the Azaleas that flourished a few weeks ago. The Firebush dies back completely with the first freeze, but now buds with new life.
In a back tropical bed, a jungle grows – it’s almost impossible to tame! Here, Elephant Ears, various Palms, Ferns, and lots of purple flowering Clover grow at an astounding rate each spring. As well in this bed, a Crepe Myrtle quickly doubles and triples in size, and a small Hydrangea bush puts out new green leaves – we hope it will flower one day.
My two Knockout Rose bushes are producing striking fuchsia blooms. We also have a Chinese Fringe flower shrub/tree. It’s large and so beautiful throughout the year. I notice that we have lots of new growth at its base.
A giant water scavenger somehow found its way into our yard. And, of course, we have the usual colony of Texas lizards that dart in and out of the plants changing color from fluorescent green to dull brown in an effort to avoid being a meal for a sharp-sighted creature. And then there are a variety of birds and loads of squirrels…
Here’s the thing: the backyard is always in motion, always changing. It reminds me that new life can come from what I perceive as lost.
God’s creation exemplifies the care and attention He has for us, His beloveds. Just as each season changes and the landscape with it, so my life shifts and turns and transforms into a new narrative for the present time. And God is with me through it all.
His natural world turns the page as a perpetual scrapbook, gathering memories that offer gentle assurance and sweet comfort at just the right time- a reminder of how much God cares about the changing seasons of our lives.
So this is my challenge to you: stroll outside in a familiar place for the next seven days and take note of all you see. Who knows what wonder of creation God might show you as an example of His love? I’d love to hear about what you find!
Go outside! Today is a GOOD day!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, “satisfy us in the morning with Your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days (Psalm 90:14, NIV).” Amen.
Submitted by Natalie Hall, Missionary