Author: Bruce Cook
The other day as I was filing away some of my writings, I stopped to read the article Gods Weekend Show that I had written this past summer about my wife and I spending a weekend at the farm. Since writing that article I feel that God has made me even more aware of His wonderful and beautiful sights and sounds, or maybe at my age he has just stopped me long enough to enjoy them. I then started to recall many of these wonderful events down through the years.
I started to think about the spring and how He displays His love and works by bringing everything back to life just as He will with us in our spiritual bodies and how He takes us through the seasons of life. As we journey to the farm in the spring we pass farms where little lambs have been born, and cows with their calves jumping around in the fields playing. The grass is getting greener and the trees begin to get young tender leaves, the birds are returning to build nests and have their young ones, little rabbits dart everywhere and deer have their fawns. The sun begins to warm the air causing a soft gentle rain and warmer winds. I see flowers begin to pop their heads above the ground getting ready to exhibit their beauty and the smell of freshly plowed earth being prepared for planting. The apple, peach, pear, plum and locust trees turn snow white with a pink tinge in their blossoms adding to the beauty of spring, along with the wonderful sweet smell emanating from the blossoms.
Summertime seems to be a time for all of God’s creations to grow and flourish reaching a peak of maturity. We then enjoy the smell of freshly cut grass, flowers or the cut hay in July. Before the hay is cut I see the wind blowing across the fields of hay causing it to sway or lean in the direction of the wind, like someone’s hair being combed. It causes me to think about what God said about the fields being ready or ripe for harvest with each blade of grass representing a soul.
Have you ever been in the country on a clear night and gazed up at the stars and experienced the magnitude of their numbers. How beautiful they can be as they are countless, and how they twinkle like diamonds as if to say hey, look at me, God made me. How breath taking and wondrous it is. How about the excitement of a shooting star across the sky? My wife simply loves these nights, especially when they are complimented by a full moon.
I like to sit on our screened in porch and hear the rain falling on the tin roof and the sound of it trickling down the spout and falling into the cistern for our much needed water supply. At night I like to lie in bed and listen to the sound of rain on the big old metal roof, it seems to have a peaceful and calming quality about it and how quickly it can induce sleep.
Sometimes in the morning I sit on the porch and see that each blade of grass has collected a drop of dew, and as the sun rises it causes each dew drop to reflect its light as if the yard is covered with millions of blue white glistening diamonds. Who else but God could do this?
Just as we do in our own lives; trees, flowers and nature must go through storms, droughts and other elements. Some of them can be cut down or destroyed in the prime of their lives. This past summer I could look out across the woods and see the locust trees turning brown with a blight or disease, creating large brown patches of dead leaves amidst the green hills. I was thinking about how our lives can be attacked by a blight or disease that can cause us spiritual or physical harm or death.
There is even a beauty in old buildings that have turned gray with time, as the weather has taken its toll on them turning the boards gray or twisting them causing them to fall away. Just as it is with our lives, for everything there is a season. Sometimes my wife and I just like to sit on the porch in the evening and listen to the birds getting ready for night time and the sounds of frogs and bugs, or hear a hoot owl or screech owl calling from the woods. Once in a while we hear the call of a coyote.
As summer starts to slip into fall I find myself anxiously awaiting its arrival to experience this wondrous phase of God’s beautiful works. The air begins to get a little chill to it after those hot summer nights. I like to watch the fall sunrise at times when it comes up in the east spreading a variety of beautiful colors of red, orange, and yellow across the eastern horizon before the sun and daylight make their appearance, and I wonder, is this how God will return with His angels in all this beauty?
The color of the leaves starts to change on the edges as if each one is hand painted by the Lord. As they continue to completely change into colors of orange, red, crimson, brown, yellow, green, purple, violet, pink and rust, the beauty becomes almost breathtaking as you travel down the road or look off into the woods. In the evenings some look as though they have been painted with florescent paint that simply makes them glow. At times you just want to stop and take it all in and say Oh God what beauty, thank you. Even the worthless sumac and poison vine leaves take on a bright color. I think about the poison vine being sin. How it can be beautiful and creep into lives causing us to suffer pain.
My wife and I take special times to enjoy the turning of the leaves. As I look at the apple trees I see them hanging full of red and yellow apples and the pear tree with greenish yellow pears on a green background, all hanging as if to decorate their trees and soon to give up their harvest for picking to eat or falling to feed the deer and other animals. The walnut trees have lost all of their leaves early, and hang full with clusters of walnuts as decorations and drop them one by one to be enjoyed.
How could I ever explain the awesome sight of a full harvest moon? What a beautiful magical sight as it rises and casts its light across the fields and down the lane, or getting up in the morning to see nearly everything covered with a coating of white frost that is the signal of things to come. The searching out of dead fallen trees and smell of the wood chips as the chain saw cuts them to be put into the fire of our wood burner. I thought then about how sin has caused souls to be destroyed, cut down, and cast into the eternal fire of hell.
As this beautiful display of fall fades and gives way to winter we see another type of beauty in the softly fallen snow and the smell of wood smoke. As I look out over the hills, hayfields and hollows I see the snow softly falling with a feeling of calmness as it puts a blanket of white on all that has now had its season, and gives such beauty and joy to await another season and rebirth. I can hear the sound of laughter and shrieking as the children or even adults play or sled ride and enjoy this gift of snow.
I look around at all of the dark trees standing with their bare limbs like arms all reaching toward heaven as if waiting for God to give the command for the sap to start up from the roots to bring life back to the limbs, and once again cover them with fresh tender leaves to start the process of the seasons over again with the rebirth of His wonderful universe of nature and life.
Winter also gives us the opportunity to celebrate with family, relatives and friends with the holiday of thanksgiving and the smell of all the many wonderful foods that God has given us to enjoy. Winter is also when we celebrate the greatest holiday of all, Christmas, when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
For the balance of the winter we spend some of those winter evenings sitting by the fire or heater in our easy chair, reflecting on the past year at what we have done or should have done, and how we can do better next year. Have you ever done this with your Christian life? I have.
This past Monday morning I suddenly awoke at 3:00 a.m. Because I had been busy writing this, God seemed to be giving me comparisons of the seasons of nature and the seasons of life. It came so fast that I could hardly take it all in. I got out of bed and went to the kitchen table to write and make notes, but by then I couldn’t recall a lot of it. I should have acted sooner. It seems that everything that takes place in seasons of nature can be compared to the seasons of our lives, and that God is in complete control of all the seasons.
During the springtime of our lives we are born, protected, nourished, taught, physically mature and reach the age of puberty and finally young adulthood. The same way God does with nature.
In the summertime of our lives as adults we are strong and able to work and raise families, with a chance to mold other lives by the way we live or act. We can teach or not teach our children about God. We can set good examples or bad. We can be cut down in the prime of our lives just as a lot of nature is. We are all responsible for our acts and how we accept the Lord.
As we age and enter into the fall of our lives we are or should be wiser. We have spent most of our lives raising our family, enduring hardships or setbacks along the way as we went through the storms of life. But as Christians, with the Lords help, it makes us better for having gone through it. As we progress into the fall or autumn of our lives be begin to slow a little and lose a step or two, our hair begins to gray around the edges like the leaves or begins to thin or fall out leaving us bald. Our hearing begins to lose its ability to pick up certain words or sounds and our eyesight begins to grow dimmer with the passing of years. Just like nature we are changing and preparing for the winter of our lives. Our changing may not be as beautiful as natures seems to be, but as Christians God sees us as even more beautiful. I believe that God through nature is showing us just how beautiful the coming of death can be to a Christian. Even with the pain and suffering that we may go through, the beauty to God is still there because He loves us and we are about to come home.
Did you ever stop to think how beautiful death can be as God shows us in His full display of beauty and as winter comes and God covers the earth and nature with His blanket of white snow. He takes our Christian souls to be with Him and enter us into His pure white presence of everlasting light and joy forever.
There is not a place that I can go, nothing that I can do, see or hear that God isn’t there to give us all His love. The entire universe is God’s huge cathedral where we are all free to love and worship Him. And regardless of the season we can be born again to spend eternity with Him. Thank You Lord.
Let me ask you this, where will you spend eternity?
This is the view from the screened in porch of the sunset lighting up the trees across the ridge.
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