Contemplating Winter

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Cold, wet and dark are three of my least favorite things, and winter has them in spades. This winter though, I’ve been attempting to find God’s handiwork in the season rather than just being upset that it’s not spring yet. Needless to say, it’s been a very enlightening experience.

Appreciation of Creation is a way in which we worship the Creator. It’s almost trivially easy to do in spring, summer and fall; the colors and smells draw us into a celebratory and worshipful mood. To find praise-worthy elements of winter has meant being purposeful about noticing the world around me.

One quick example: call me dense, but it took me until this winter to really realize how serene a heavy snowfall can be. There are few sensations as relaxing as standing in a freshly blanketed field looking around at the world covered in a white sheen. This year, the snow was even enough to force cities into a rare and well-needed quietude. Just being able to soak in the silence and sit in the awe of the expansiveness of God’s Creation has been wonderfully refreshing.

What about you? Do you take time to thank God for all of the seasons? Is there anything you find praise-worthy about winter?

Today’s devotional: celebrating the new life of spring

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

What is it about spring that lifts the human spirit?

Growing up in southern California, I didn’t really understand the joy of spring until I moved to the Midwest. Here in Michigan, springtime isn’t just a few months of pleasant weather before the sweltering heat of summer… it’s a celebration after the long reign of winter. I didn’t truly appreciate the vibrancy of spring until I’d lived through a bleak, snowy Midwest winter.

In this devotional, Wonder of Creation finds a Biblical lesson in the new life of spring:

This time of the year I’m reminded of the psalms that speak of nature’s bounty. And it’s hard to find a more exuberant expression of praise for God’s abundance than the one penned by the Hebrew psalmist David:

“You visit the earth and water it, you greatly enrich it; the river of God is full of water; you provide their grain, for so you have prepared it. You water its ridges abundantly, you settle its furrows; you make it soft with showers, you bless its growth. You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths drip with abundance. They drop on the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys also are covered with grain; they shout for joy, they also sing” (Psalm 65:9-13 NKJV).

….The amazing fruitfulness of the earth that provides both for us and for the creatures of the wilderness is a gift from a righteous, gracious, merciful, and loving Creator. As its stewards then, mankind has a divine mandate to preserve its capacity to be fruitful—which involves our being able to determine when human activity begins to go beyond our taking of the fruit of the land and we start destroying its fruitfulness.

Read the full devotional at Wonder of Creation.

What does spring look like where you live? Can you relate to this sense of spiritual joy—and responsibility—that comes with the abundant life of spring?