Grace is God’s unmerited, unearned favor, and we can see this grace expressed in the physical world surrounding us. Many of us rush around, too self-absorbed in our own problems to “stop and smell the roses,” but if we do slow down and take a close look around, we would undoubtedly be amazed. Some of the ways God embraces us with His love is by giving us warm, beautiful weather; blazing, colorful sunsets; and fragrant spring flowers. We can embrace Him back by appreciating these things.
When we are so busy thanking God for what He has given us, life suddenly gets sweeter and more enjoyable. Nature is one way God manifests His presence, and when we delight in knowing He is present in our lives, we become bright, pleasant, and joyful. When I remember that God lovingly made all of creation for us, I can’t help but give thanks.
I was marveling at a row of beautiful trees one day in a park. While I was just staring at the trees, God gave me understanding about the beauty of His creation. He gave me a greater appreciation for our uniqueness, too.
I noticed that the oak tree and the willow tree seemed to get along peacefully. The willow wasn’t bent over, trying to make the oak more like it, and the oak wasn’t tussling with the willow to bring it into submission. They stood tall in their own space, doing what God designed trees to do—clean the air and give shade. I thanked God for my walk in the park that day, and thanked Him for bringing my attention to one of the many lessons He has planted all around us.
I was reminded of what Jesus said regarding this. “Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”(Matthew 6:26-30, NKJV). Our heavenly Father shows us much more favor than birds and flowers, and He promises to take care of us, if we just let Him. Having faith in this promise gives us a refreshing and a rest from all our frantic scurrying about. Just like the trees that grow the way God designed them, we stand tall when we do what He designed us to do, which is to worship Him.
Another lesson is that God made nature to operate the way He intended it to, and we don’t need to get in the way by trying to improve on perfection. Through His grace, He surrounded us with beauty and created something we could never build on our own. We don’t need to try to alter or add to His handiwork, because nothing else is needed. “For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift” (John 1:16, AMP). We’re free to enjoy each of the four seasons God created for us.
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