“All of your works will thank you, Lord, and your faithful followers will praise you.”
Psalm 145:10 NLT
I love looking out over our large garden through the seasons. The autumn presents a stunning display with a veritable plethora of colours from yellow through to the deepest of reds. The bare boughs of winter, stark against the bleak grey skies, contrast with the emerging bud and fresh flowers of springtime. Always alive, it speaks clearly of God’s unsearchable character. One of the retreats we run at St Cuthbert’s Oratory in both spring and autumn is called ‘Eyes Wide Open’. This day is an opportunity to sense the presence of God in the sights and sounds of nature, for, as St Paul reminds us: “all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time” (Romans 8:22, NLT). Together we engage our senses in the natural world as we explore God’s presence that always surrounds us.
My approach to life changed when I opened my eyes to the reality that God is living through all (Ephesians 4:6). Suddenly I observed God in the seasons and the landscape that surrounded me. Here I might, whatever my mood, pause, break state and encounter God in the immediacy of my surroundings. Creation reveals God’s reality and lifts my soul.
In both the vastness of space, looking up at the night sky, populated with huge numbers of stars, or quietly gazing upon a corner of my garden, I am reminded of the unfathomable riches that are mine in Jesus. Life seeks to squeeze the life of God out of me. If I overthink my faith I get lost in rational arguments both for and against God. Yet, when I am attentive to the expression of God in all that surrounds me, I join with his works in giving thanks for the simple fact of God. It is one of the great virtues of the creation that surrounds us that its seasonal procession of colours is a silent provocation to each one of us to praise God, whatever season of life we find ourselves experiencing.
How might the things you see around you stimulate you to worship God and join your voice in praising him with all of creation?
Lord, thank you for so many wonderful reminders of your creativity, beauty, majesty and love.