Friday, October 2, 2009

God Made This for Me

Sometimes I look at the natural beauty all around me and think, "God made this for me." In some of the most difficult times of my life, I have walked outside and been greeted by a beautiful blue sky and verdant foliage that made me wonder if God had provided a beautiful day just to cheer me up. Of course, God's marvelous creation is not only for me—it is a gift that He has given for the benefit of all people.

There are many things in nature that stir powerful feelings of joy inside me, and God has not only made those things for me and for others, but He has also engineered my body and spirit so that I can enjoy them. I see God's love for me in many parts of nature. Here are just a few:
  • The sky. When I was young, I lived on a farm in the Appalachian mountains, and God blessed me with a spirit to appreciate the natural beauty around me. There was no light pollution, and I could see the stars and the beautiful Milky Way from my bedroom window. I used to stand outside at night sometimes and just stare up at the sky until my mother called me in for fear that I would get cold. In the summer and fall, I would lie in the grass or sit on the porch swing and look up at the clouds, searching for shapes or patterns. Even today, few things move me the way that a spectacular sunset can. I imagine that the sky is a canvas and that God has created the most beautiful painting in creation. But tomorrow, God will paint a new sunset to rival today's, and I get to watch.
  • Butterflies. I don't know why, but I have always loved butterflies. When I see them fluttering by, I feel free and blissful deep inside. I feel excited about the unknown blessings that could come my way at any moment, and the world is suddenly alive with delightful possibilities. Butterflies are beautiful, and when I see them, I feel beautiful myself.
  • Spring rain. I love the smell of the damp earth and the moist air after a spring rainstorm. It makes me feel as though everything has been made clean, and I am reminded of how alive the earth is. Smelling the rain is like receiving a promise from God of how abundant the summer growth will be. It becomes a metaphor for my life and for all of the seemingly ordinary gifts that God will send me to make me prosper.
  • Autumn foliage. All the trees that have looked more or less the same all year long suddenly burst into a gorgeous array of color, bathing the whole atmosphere in a warm glow. The air smells crisp, and the sky is brilliantly blue. When I see all those colors, I feel sprightly and alive, and I can't seem to worry too much about the coming winter, dismal and long though I know it will be. There is beauty even in the coming of winter, and the energy I feel when I revel in that fall loveliness is a precious gift that will help see me through the cold months ahead. 
  • Mountains. I love mountains whether I find myself in the valley or on the peak. From below, the mountains remind me of my home and bring back the cherished nostalgia of childhood and adolescence. It's almost as though they are my mountains, put there to remind me of the unique blend of carefree fun, loving acceptance, and peaceful serenity that make up my fondest memories of home. From the top, mountains remind me of how broad and breathtaking the world really is and impress upon me the vast potential of my own life. God has created an amazing world for me to inhabit, with more possibilities than I could ever explore.
There are more things that I could name, of course. Not only that, but each person reading this post right now would likely compose an entirely different list for themselves. That only goes to show how incredible God's creation is and how many treasures God shares with us through it.  God made all of this for us because He loves us.

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