words and pictures by June Friesen, scripture via The Message
What a glorious way to greet the morning! To be greeted by the rising of the sun that ultimately rises because of the Son. I have a friend who loves to put a twist on this greeting by saying ‘God Morning,’ in response to ‘good morning.’ And how appropriate that is because without God there would be no sun or sunrise to begin the day.
The second wonder of a new day’s beginning is the singing of the birds. At sunrise, it is a chorus of birds – God’s natural choir causing one’s heart to be lifted in praise for a brand new beginning to another day. My favorite Scripture is Psalm 19:1-9 which reflects on the wonder of creation.
Psalm 19:1-9 (The Message)
1-2 God’s glory is on tour in the skies, God-craft on exhibit across the horizon.
Madame Day holds classes every morning, Professor Night lectures each evening.
3-4 Their words aren’t heard, their voices aren’t recorded,
But their silence fills the earth: unspoken truth is spoken everywhere.
4-5 God makes a huge dome for the sun—a superdome!
The morning sun’s a new husband leaping from his honeymoon bed,
The day-breaking sun an athlete racing to the tape.
6 That’s how God’s Word vaults across the skies from sunrise to sunset,
Melting ice, scorching deserts, warming hearts to faith.
7-9 The revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.
The life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.
The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes.
God’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold, with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of God are accurate down to the nth degree.
Today much of our world is struggling to find their way through time. For some it may be a struggle because of health issues. For others, it may be restrictions because of political or religious unrest. For others, it may be drastic changes in employment, housing, food availability, shortages or limited water supply as well as clean water availability. There is struggle because so many in the world today desire to be in control with little regard for others. Over the last couple of months, we have talked about all the things that are or have become like ashes in our lives as well as things that maybe we should let become ashes in our lives. Yet it is also important that we realize that new life can be made from as well as out of ashes.
As I take time to read the above verses from time to time it is the last three verses that are of particular challenge to me and I might say that they are also a comfort to me.
It is God’s revelation that is whole, perfect and complete. In our Scriptures we see that it is He who is the Creator and designer of this great universe as well as this planet earth that we as humans call home during our physical lifetime. God attempts to help each of us during our lifetime to embrace Him and live our lives in harmony with others as well as creation. Second it tells us that He has signposts that show us how to live. For some that may be more of a challenge than others however I believe the Psalmist is referring to those who are God-fearing believers and many of those signs of help come as we become familiar with the whole of Scriptures. As I read the next phrase I pondered – ‘what is a life map?’ Once again when we choose to follow God and also read His Scriptures, we find references throughout the Old and New Testaments that help us make good choices and give us guidance in our lives. It says these life maps bring joy into our lives. I would add that one can and does find joy as well as peace when making godly choices in life. The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes. Again, I find that God makes things pretty obvious most of the time; there may be a time or two when one has to look a little harder but that may be because we have gotten sidetracked in some way or other in our walk with Him. As these verses end it says that there is a lifetime guarantee for each one of us who chooses to embrace this walk with God. A life time guarantee? Yes, and that brings me to another Scripture that Jesus shared with His followers when He was still here on earth from John 14:1-7:
“Don’t let this rattle you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”
5 Thomas said, “Master, we have no idea where you’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?”
6-7 Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well.”
Yes, this is a great truth and a great promise to embrace, especially in times of troublesome issues, whether in our personal lives, or in our communities, or in the world. ‘Don’t get rattled’ or don’t get stressed out – so easy to say or even think or but to try to believe for oneself? Making it a personal practice can become one of the greatest challenges in one’s daily life.
As I have considered these Scriptures once again – and as I take regular walks and hikes it seems to me that there was a great reason behind God’s plan of creating a garden as He did in the beginning for humanity. God knew that it would be in nature we would be able to see His glory on display as well as embrace His presence through the senses that He gave us. I invite you to join me on a daily walk in my life.
TODAY I WALKED WITH GOD
Good morning my alarm says to me –
Another day is here for you to greet –
I rise from my bed of rest –
And I prepare myself for a walk –
Sasha, our shepherd is always up for a walk upon rising.
Depending upon what time of the year the sights and sounds vary –
It is springtime for us now so
The sun is beginning to rise to give light to the day,
Sometimes the sunrise is filled with a myriad of colors,
Sometimes it is a ball of fire and other times it just gives light to the morn.
There is the beauty of many kinds of trees with many kinds of leaves,
They grace life with shapes, sizes and places for little homes,
Little homes for a variety of birds to nestle as well as raise their little ones,
And oh, how those birds begin to chirp in a great chorus as the sun rises.
Different trees seem to be home to different songs –
There are sparrows, chickadees, doves, pigeons, small black birds, as well as a family of hawks,
Some are already on the hunt for morning morsels while others are merely awaking.
Then later in the day there are a couple more walks along this familiar path,
There may be children sighted playing on the playground,
Adults doing some gardening, and others just enjoying the moment –
There may be clouds in the sky, sometimes a sprinkle of rain or two….
And if one is really fortunate one of God’s beautiful rainbows arched in the skies.
As I walk through the beauty God gifts on this earth,
My heart is turned heavenward in gratefulness –
I give thanks for eyes to behold such incredible beauty,
I give thanks for ears that embrace the sounds delicate and sometimes rather boisterous,
I give thanks for my nose which blesses me with odors, some delightful and others not so much,
I give thanks for my hands that hold my dog’s leash to keep her safe,
I also give great thanks for my legs and my feet that hold me up and walk me several miles each day,
I give thanks to God for allowing me the gift of getting to know Him so intimately over my lifetime –
I now invite you to take some time in your day, or days
To embrace the wonderful creation around you with praise to God –
It will help one embrace life as it has been, as it is and as it will become
When God is one’s focus on the walk through each day of life.
Amen and amen.
We all need the Wholeness of God…this resource includes reflections and activities for coping and thriving during the COVID-19 challenges in search of shalom as well as hope for restoration during and after this period of social distancing.