Soul Rest in Nature: Hope Bursts Forth in Radiant Colors

nature

“What’s she doing? Who would want to take a picture of cattails anyway?”

“I would…” I said to myself.

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I love walking the trails of Outdoor Campus here in Sioux Falls where nature is kept as natural and unspoiled as possible. At the end of a trail, one must walk on the sidewalk of the entrance road into the park. Across the road are cattails. Last year I was walking a few feet behind three women. The one with the camera walked to the cattails to take pictures when one woman voiced her opinion.

DSC_0282 I guess everyone has a right to their own perspective of nature’s paintings. I admired the woman who was soaking up snapshots of everything she could of God’s canvas.

I have fond memories of cattails. I grew up on a farm, and I loved plucking the ripened, fluffy seeds from them and letting them float away with the wind to places nobody but God knows.

The truth is if we don’t venture across the road to see the cattails, we miss other hidden surprises. Behind those tall, stately, brown-suited plants is a pond. And sometimes there are even ducks on the pond.

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I never find anything mundane in nature. There always seems to be something new to surprise me, just like when I read the Bible. Something pops out that I didn’t notice after so many times of reading it. God’s Word and nature are so synchronized. Both resound with His voice.

When I went to the Outdoor Campus last week, I asked God, “Will You show me something new today?” As I walked there were so many various thrilling bird calls that I thought: Ah, hearing this is a beautiful surprise already that I never grow tired of. But then a cardinal flew in a few feet from me. He flew away before I could get a photo, but the rich red feathers, black mask around his eyes, and the distinguished red tuft are still etched in my memory bank. Thank You, God. Since then I have found out that the various calls I was hearing were all from cardinals. Did you know they have about two dozen different songs? Wow!

As I returned on the sidewalk I mentioned, I crossed the road to the cattails, and I found another surprise. Usually I see mallard ducks, but this time I saw what I think was a female wood duck.

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Nature remains one of my favorite soul-resting whitespaces.

God desires to show us
He is still with us.
If our eyes and ears
Are attuned to His voice,
We will be surprised
And even fascinated
By what He gives,
And hope will burst forth
In radiant colors.


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“We need to find God,
and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness.
God is the friend of silence.
See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence;
see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…
We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
– Mother Teresa

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21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace

Whitespace Writing Prompt:
“Share a Whitespace Moment This Week”

A Soft Gentle Voice

“Soultime” Beauty

Knowing Fully
“So we fix our eyes not on what is seen,
but on what is unseen,
since what is seen is temporary,
but what is unseen is eternal.”
(2 Corinthians 4:18)

Can you imagine what it will be like to see Jesus face to face? What matchless beauty that will be?

This past week God gave me a few moments of “soultime” beauty by tugging my heart towards that future glory. A place of matchless beauty where Jesus shines in all His transcendent glory. The only city that “does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.” (Rev. 21:23)

There will be no darkness there. No sin. No sighing. No pain. No fear. No tears. In the balance, all the troubles here are nothing compared to the everlasting weight of blessedness in eternity.

For our light, momentary affliction (this slight distress of the passing hour) is ever more and more abundantly preparing and producing and achieving for us an everlasting weight of glory [beyond all measure, excessively surpassing all comparisons and all calculations, a vast and transcendent glory and blessedness never to cease!] (2 Corinthians 4:17 AMP)

Sometimes I dwell on present troubles and blind myself to the price Jesus paid for me. The excruciating, incomparable suffering He endured so I may one day be without suffering. In everlasting, perfect, glorious beauty with Him.

Here I so often live as a survivor and sometimes even sink back into a victim mode. But I want to be a dancer of victory. I long to be with Jesus, to praise Him perfectly with all my heart, to never again doubt the peace and safety of His rescuing love.

But for now…

I will be grateful to remain here for as long as God desires, believing He has a special purpose. Even for me. Trusting I don’t need to understand. I just need to hold His hand.

I will be grateful for His precious gifts – of glimpses into the beauty of His love – believing that everlasting glory lies ahead.

I will be grateful for the occasional joy jigs here and hope on for the never-ending victory dances to come.

A Child's Trust

“Troubled soul don’t lose your heart

Cause joy and peace He brings

And the beauty that’s in store

Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting.”

Jeremy Camp

 

Faith Barista‘s Faith Jam Word for this week is “Beauty” or “Soultime.”