Devotional written by Jim Stephenson
One of the benefits of sheltering in place for me is that my temporary office (the breakfast table) overlooks a backyard that during the last few weeks has burst forth into a Spring sonata, assaulting my senses with energizing sounds, vibrant colors, and stunning fragrances.
Though a nasty and vicious pandemic is stalking the planet, the 24/7 news media has failed to inform the birds and bees and flowers and trees! They carry on with no restrictions or quarantining. Why, just outside my window, the pink and purple peonies parade their beauty, vying with the yellow knockout roses for the most “oohs and aahs!”
Like a page from Beatrix Potter, my animated outback vibrates with frenetic activity. The birds still soar with the greatest of ease and serenade with perfect pitch. The squirrels still scramble, the rabbits romp, and the bees buzz as if all is well with the world. And it is. Our Father has it all under control. Every last chipmunk. Despite the virus.
Our good and gracious God has skillfully conducted yet another annual masterpiece of grace awakening!
For all the animals of the forest are mine,
and I own the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know every bird on the mountains,
and all the animals of the field are mine. (Psalm 50:10-11)
In this psalm, Jehovah the Judge reminds His covenant people that He needs nothing material from us. He owns it all! What he desires most is thankful hearts and for us to call on Him in the day of trouble (vs 14-15).
Calling on Him when we’re in distress isn’t hard for most of us. It comes easy for me! It’s the part about showing Him gratitude that challenges us most. We’re much better at throwing pity parties when life gets hard. Yet through all of life’s ups and downs His promises stand, and He never changes.
The arrival of a brilliant, blossoming springtime reminds me of God’s promise to make all things new in His own time. The paradise that was lost in the garden will be restored and all the redeemed will revel in the presence of the Lord! In that eternal Spring there’ll be no more night, no more tears, no more pain, and no more regrets!
So, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, what we’ve always longed for, but have never known, will be ours when we are finally safe at home!
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children. (Revelation 21:5-7)