Daily Devotion for Tuesday, March 24
". . .But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can't see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. . ."
(Romans 1:20a,THE MESSAGE)
As I was driving to work today (being in healthcare I'm still allowed out during these stay-at-home days), I was blown away by the beauty emerging all around. My magnolia tree outside my door had opened its frothy white blossoms, the heady perfume of hyacinth was coming from my little flowerbed, and my neighbors' forsythia was offering a blaze of brilliant yellow. The last couple of lamb-like March days have confirmed the calendar's declaration that "spring has sprung," and the warmer temperatures have coaxed the Earth into re-awakening. Now what will happen in the next few days, I don't know. Like many Marches that I've lived through there's a chance that winter weather will make another brief appearance, but that's all right. I've seen and felt the hope of Spring.
During this coronavirus pandemic I've heard the question "Where is God in all of this?" Maybe you've asked it yourself as you've watched the televised images from hospitals around the world. Maybe you've asked the question as you've talked to your elderly mother on the phone, her fear clearly audible as she tries to reassure you that she's "fine, just fine" amid her isolation and lack of visitors. Maybe you've asked the question as you look at your shrinking bank statement and wondered how you're going to stretch the dollars until unemployment kicks in: "God, where are you?"
I invite you to read the words above, the words written by Paul to the young Christian community living in Rome. Unable to visit them, Paul is aware that their faith might be dwindling as they deal with the lack of his presence in corporate worship; he knows they might be tempted to join society's ranks and give up hope and conviction in God. They don't feel the same nearness of the Spirit, so Paul gives them proof of God's eternal power-the beauty and mystery of nature, the world that God created.
Did you ever think of nature's beauty as God's personal gift of love to you? A reassurance that God is loving on you and communicating with you in the midst of life's chaos? That daffodil that opened overnight by your back door? Well, that's God's "Good morning, beloved." A flowing, gurgling stream is a reminder of the Living Water available to quench the thirst of loneliness. The warmth of sunshine on your face is a call to soak in the radiance of God's love.
What if we looked at the emergence of Spring as God's tangible reminder to us that God is always capable of miraculous re-creations? And that out of the darkness and barrenness of winter, spring's predictable arrival is a testament to God's steadiness? Our God has that kind of power and is surely able to sustain us through the winter of our current experiences! Let us see and bask in God's Holy Faithfulness every day as the world around us buds and flowers once again.
Where is God in all this? God is everywhere! Let us open our eyes to see!
I leave you with this poem by Joyce Rupp, "A Brief Moment" from her book Anchors for the Soul.
A Brief Moment
for a brief moment
early spring rain ceases.
the sun breaks through
threads of gold,
thin enough to pierce
glitter on dewdrops,
touching the eyelashes
of blooming forsythia,
making of the yellowed bushes
a place where beauty
bows to brilliance,
where everything arrogant
takes off its shoes
to stand on holy ground.
Let us pray: Holy Creator God, open my eyes that I may see glimpses of love you have for me. Widen my perspective so that I can receive nature's beautiful reawakening as a message of Your hope and comfort. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Deacon Erin Maurer