Genesis 6:5-6, 13
The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually. And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart… And God said to Noah, “I have determined to make an end of all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; now I am going to destroy them along with the earth.”
Last night I was looking at a picture of the ocean in California and I thought, I could just spend a whole day looking at the ocean. I feel like I would never tire of being at the ocean. If I lived near it, I imagine I would spend entire Saturdays just admiring it. The truth is that some people who live near the ocean get used to its beauty. If they live further inland, they may not even see it regularly. The ocean is not novel to them like it is to me, who has been planted firmly in the middle of the United States for my whole life.
We are surrounded by beauty in the Midwest, too, and we take that for granted. There is nowhere on our planet that is not brushed with the creative strokes of our God. I like to fully tap into the beauty God has given us by going on walks and praying. I head out my front door and begin to look at the beauty surrounding me. The dew on the grass, the sunrise, the flowers, the green grass, the trees can all be seen with new, appreciative eyes when I connect with God. When I look around and see all God's beauty, I feel more grateful and blessed, which sets my heart right to continue through the day.
This idea is not new by any means. One of my mom's favorite hymns was called "In the Garden." It was written by Charles Austin Miles, and here are a few of the lyrics:
I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known.
This week, spend some time walking in your neighborhood, gardening or going somewhere that has a special beauty to you, such as a lake or arboretum. Take the time to go in prayer to God and let yourself see the beauty we have been blessed with.
Your beauty is everywhere. From the tops of the mountains to the clovers in the grass, every bit of creation has been crafted with your care. Help us to notice, to look up and around and see what new vision you have brought to us that day.
- Ashly Cooley, Counseling & Support Ministries
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Ashly supports the Congregational Care ministry at Resurrection Leawood. She works primarily with our Counseling and Support ministries.