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.
A few days ago, shaken and disturbed to the depths of my soul by the marauding evil ravaging our world, I wrote what I thought would be a blog to share with you here. I chose to let my words flow in the moment. It was cathartic. It was healing. But, when I reflected upon what I composed, I felt my thoughts would only serve to fan the flames of negativity and distress. And, haven't we all had our fair, and unfair, share of that? I knew it was not my place to add fuel to a fire which God sees, God knows, and which God will quench in His incomparable timing.
I chose, instead, to share with you some good news from last week.
Ten years ago, on August 21st, my husband, Danny, proposed to me on the grounds of Big Canoe, an award-winning restaurant perched on the banks of the magnificent Chattahoochee River which runs through the Atlanta metro area. We strolled leisurely along the footpaths, admiring the well-tended flower beds, and venturing to the banks of the river, rested our eyes upon its endless flow, graceful and soothing, a balm to our souls. Meandering our way back to a shaded bench along the path, we sit. That's the very place where Danny kneels and proposes to me. Outdoors, surrounded by God's indescribable creation, drinking in the beauties of scent and sight, I say, "Yes."
And, out pour the tears of joy.
For in this private and endearing moment, only God's creation surrounds us. It is as if the human activity, so close and present, has faded into the background. It is no longer a reality. We become a trinity: God, Danny, me. That's it. But, it's all that is needed in that precious moment.
And, on this most recent August 21st, these are what I receive from my sweetie.
Blessed reminders of God's creation which reveal His eternal power and His divine nature, clearly seen. Reminders that in the midst of trials and tribulations, there is beauty beyond description. Beauty which God, alone, has made.
We can wallow in the desperation of these times, allowing Satan's all-too-close presence sway our focus away from God. Or, we can choose, with determined steps of faith, to see the goodness and beauty our Lord and Savior has lavished upon us.
As Christians, we are a people without excuse. We are called to love. We are called to forgive.
And, we are called to pray for all, even our enemies. In the post I chose not to publish, I confessed my shame as a Christian because, in my human frailty, I willed nothing but the worst upon those enemies. I know, in my heart of hearts, I cannot do this, and, dear friends in Christ, neither can you. We must speak up, yes, and we must defend our faith, but we are called by Jesus to pray for our persecutors. To (gulp!) forgive them.
A tall order? The tallest!
But, Jesus commands us to do just that.
And, so, we must.
What excuses are you harboring today which prevent you from seeing God's glory in His creation?
Prayer: Precious Father, You have always surrounded us with proof of Your divine presence and power if only we would open our eyes to see, our minds to know, and our hearts to feel. Help us, especially in these trying times of worldly conflict, to remember that You are in control and You want us to pray constantly for both the persecuted and the persecutors. It is hard, dear Jesus, but may we find our strength and resolve to do so because You commanded it of us. In Your name, we pray. Amen.