I was reminded recently that nature is one of our greatest teachers. Everything is created with a meaningful purpose on this earth. When something wilts or dies, its effect ripples across the land. But, there’s always that one plant that miraculously blooms in a drought-stricken field or that bird that calls out to its mate with a melody understood only by its own, yet enjoyed by all who hear it.
Aren’t we like that?
When life’s unwieldy ways drain our souls and minds of all resources, we can still look toward the sun and allow its rays to awaken our senses. When pain and fear beat down, some of us create the most beautiful images, poetic words and melodic tunes that hit us to our core. When we’re on our knees crying out to our heavenly Father, we plead to Him with all we’ve got only to see His divine blessing after our trial.
Signs of hope and renewal abound in nature…and in us. Life’s harshest conditions can spring forth stronger limbs, brighter colors, more fragrant smells, sounds and sweet sights that remind us He’s got control.
Last week while doing research for a book I’m writing about Fossil Rim Wildlife Center, I couldn’t help but be amazed by the brilliant patterns on the animals and their grazing behaviors on the land and trees. I have seen this so many times throughout my life, but it still astounds me how perfectly God created every living thing.
As I verbalized my swirling thoughts, Dr. Patrick Condy, the Center’s Executive Director, pointed out something I never knew. He said that every leaf on a tree is identical. Millions of leaves on one tree are exactly the same – perfectly created so that collectively they can take in the elements and give us oxygen. Leaves of another tree are unique to its species, and so on. The same goes for animals and their unique patterns that camouflage them from prey.
The natural wild, like humans, is perfectly imperfect. Storms will come. Floods and lightning will strike. Fires will burn and predators’ pride leaves battle scars. Through it all, God gives us what we need to rise up and not only survive, but to thrive and inspire others to do the same. His omnipotent influence flows through our veins – and nothing or no one can take that away.
That’s how God made us – man, woman and earth alike. One of my favorite scriptures conveys this perfectly:
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat and drink; about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the lilies of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So, do not worry, saying ‘what shall I eat? Or ‘what shall we drink?’ or what shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring trouble.”
Next time life has you feeling overwhelmed or troubled, take a walk outside. Look toward the sun. Study the leaves. If He created all of that with such detail and precision, surely He’s covered you just the same.
How has nature inspired hope and renewal in your life?