Rarely do we get a day with mid-sixties temperature in February in central Indiana, but a couple of weeks ago we had one, giving me a chance to get out to one of my favorite places, our back yard. Nothing too serious, no yard work, just some solitude and time to reflect and observe life. Setting there, my attention was arrested by some birds, a woodpecker, a blue jay, a couple of cardinals, and a handful of finches and sparrows. Watching them fly through the trees, I saw God. I saw the creative nature of my creator and His passion for distinctiveness. Their colors were vibrantly different, their songs remarkably diverse, even their flight patterns were unique. Each a distinctive example of His amazing creative design. Watching the birds, my eyes eventually drift to the trees. It’s winter, so the trees are obviously barren, and again, I see God. Normally leaves cover their branches, but today, with no leaves, I notice their imperfections, and that nearly every branch reaches toward the sky. My mind went to Romans 1 where Paul says, “does not nature itself teach us of God.” Each branch, it seemed, was reaching in exaltation for the heavens. I noticed that the ones that didn’t, had been hindered by other branches, and though constrained, they had changed direction, either turning toward the ground, or curling, trying to find another route upwards toward the sky. Turning from the trees, I see frost, and once again, I see God. Where the sun is shining, the frost is melted and there is a glistening dew, but where there is an absence of light, the cold chill of frost remains. What an amazing parallel to the power and love of God. Where His light shines in the world there is life, but where He is ridiculed and viewed with disdain, there is darkness and fear. I take a mental note; seeing God isn’t that difficult, it’s just a matter of having an awareness. Isaiah, an ordinary man, said, “I saw the Lord, high and lifted up, His train filled the Temple.” He wasn’t some kind of spiritual superhero; just a man who lived sensitively to God. I wonder how many that day had the opportunity to see what Isaiah saw but were just too busy. I wonder too if Isaiah’s view is closer to all of us than we can imagine. That just maybe, if we too would take time, get off our devices, slow down, start looking, stop talking, listened, and lived more sensitive, that we too might see God in His splendor and power.
Spring! Go to Lowe’s or any home and garden shop, and if you’re lucky enough to find a parking place, you can count on a long line once you find your plants and flowers. Whether it’s tulips, trees or tomatoes, this is the time when people are getting them in the ground. Planting tulips? Expect beautiful hues of reds, purples and pink petals. Plant an apple, peach or cherry tree, and in time, you will enjoy some fresh fruit. Get the garden growing and soon tomatoes, cucumbers and summer squash will be on your dinner table. When we plant, we plant with expectations. Flowers with no petals, fruit trees with no fruit and a garden with no red ripe Indiana tomato is just not acceptable. As we celebrate Spring, be reminded that the same laws of sowing and reaping that applies to plants and flowers apply when it comes to what we plant in our lives and families. If we plant unfaithfulness in bible reading, prayer and attending God’s house, expect our kids to do the same. Be faithful in devotion, a worshipper at church and serve others and watch your kids flourish spiritually. Be a person who gossips, is sarcastic and negative and you will find those are the type of people you will attract. Be a person who encourages, shows grace and extends mercy and you will find when you need the same it will be in abundance. A word to the wise, plant well both in your garden and in your life. Plant your flowers and plants in good soil and plant your life in God’s Word. Keep your plants watered and your life saturated with prayer. Then, in time, you will see beautiful flowers and plants in your yard and a spirit of peace and joy in your heart.