Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”
This past week, the Sample family popped up our pop-up camper. The endeavor always includes a bunch of dust, bugs, and squeals. The kids are ecstatic, and we are about to pull our hair out.
But, the small amount of stress and kid-wrangling does not overpower the joy that the camper brings: the great outdoors.
If any of you are avid campers, I apologize for what I am about to say.
I like glamping. Glamping is when you camp in style. Our pop-up might not be a fifth-wheel camper, but it has all the amenities we need. And, since we have the amenities, we can enjoy nature without being drowned in worries or discomfort.
Again, if you are an avid camper, I apologize for my weak spine. Hopefully, you will agree with what I will say next.
Enjoying nature is essential. I yearn to leave the confines of town and bury myself in the fresh air, surrounded by open spaces. Amid nature, I find God.
Now, I am not saying that God is in nature. He is not contained in a tree or a flower or a cloud.
I am saying that God has revealed Himself in nature. He created everything that we see. Not only did He create all things, but He designed all things to show who He is. No one can spend an hour in a forest without realizing that someone created those trees. Someone designed the intricate patterns of moss. Someone programed the instincts of birds and other animals. Everything screams the realization of a creator.
These plants and animals also show God’s character. He is the one who clothes them and feeds them. He cares when a sparrow falls to the ground. He brings life to barren land. When tragedy comes, he shapes it to benefit those under his care.
My faith expands when I leave the man-made streets and buildings and am surrounded by the creative result of God’s will. Not only is my body refreshed by fresh air, but my soul is refreshed by reflecting on who God consistently is.
This summer, I hope that you can immerse yourself in nature and spend time reflecting on our God.
Leviticus 26:4 “I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit.”
Praise the Lord! We have rain! As the drops fall, the ground almost seems to be sighing with relief. The leaves of the trees are unfolding with joy. Flowers are blooming. Spring is here.
While my allergies are complaining, I enjoy the smell of spring. The green grass, the new leaves, the colorful flowers, and the other signs of spring bring about a sense of hope. While we have been surrounded by death through fall and winter, that death is not the end. New life sprouts out of the decay of the dead.
Spring reminds us of the hope that Jesus offers. The Apostle Paul writes that everyone is dead in their sins, like plants during winter. This deadness dooms us to destruction like I remove dead branches from trees, or like you might till up dead weeds from your garden. While we experience destruction through death, sin, and suffering, we will ultimately experience destruction in an eternity separated from the life-giving God.
However, God sent rain. Jesus, His Son, came to earth to live among our deadness. He ultimately died for us, spilling his blood like rain. Anyone who comes under the blood of Jesus is reborn. New life sprouts from the decay of the dead.
We can experience this life now in a personal relationship with God, a relationship that brings the blessing of love, hope, and peace. We will ultimately experience this new life in eternity with God on this earth, basking in perfection with no more death, sin, or suffering.
Just as grass cannot do anything to earn rain, so we cannot do anything to earn the new life Jesus offers. All we can do is admit that we are sinners and that nothing we do will save us. Then, we ask Jesus to save us. As the Apostle Paul says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The moment we do that, the blood of Jesus Christ is showered on us. We are saved for eternity and can have a personal relationship with God.
I am so grateful for spring and the promise of new life.
Pastor of Calvary Bible Church, Neligh, NE. Missionary with RHMA. Husband to Maggie. Father to Grace, David, and Daniel. Saved by Jesus Christ