“O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may you be praised forever and ever! Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.” 1 Chronicles 29:10-11 (NLT)
I am blessed to live in an older neighborhood with mature trees. In fact, the maples in my yard were planted by my family nearly 44 years ago. This time of year is especially beautiful. The trees are beginning to turn colors and the variety of species offers much delight for the eye.
Just outside my back door is a large tree that is one of the first to turn. I can always mark the season by its vivid red leaves and know that others will soon follow suit. On my trips through the neighborhood, I see trees in various shades of red, orange, yellow and light green, as well as those who hang onto their dark green summer foliage until the very end. Each trip through the neighborhood reveals an ever-changing palette as the days move through autumn. What a beautiful canvas God paints!
Even though fall is my favorite time of year, each season the Lord blesses us with has its beauty. There are the beautiful landscapes of snow drifts and icicles created during the winter. In the spring, it is the return of the leaves unfurling little by little each day. The beauty of the first crocus and daffodils to poke their heads above the ground after a long winter rest. Summer brings the emerald green grass and the multitude of flowers that thrive in the summer warmth. God paints each season with His blessings for us to enjoy.
There are times in our lives when we can fail to see or appreciate God’s canvas. Sometimes we’re so focused on how we feel, our inner landscape, that we don’t notice the splendor around us. Sometimes the worry, the circumstances, the hopelessness can blind our eyes to the beauty in this world. It doesn’t have to be that way. Pray that the Lord will open your eyes to His glory and His majesty, His strength and His faithfulness, His love and His care.
“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?” Matthew 6:28-30 (NLT)
You yourself are God’s canvas. He has created each of you to shine with His love. He has made you His special project, His carefully painted canvas, to show to the world. He wants each of us to love others as He has loved us. We do this through acknowledging that God is the source of all beauty and splendor, thanking Him for our blessings, and praying for others. You are beautiful both inside and out because God has made you that way. Open your eyes to the beauty of this world He has created just for you. And open your eyes to the beauty in other people.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
A Stander in Nebraska