I love the crisp, cold and sunny winter days, when the sky is clear blue and the ground underfoot crunches with frost, and on just such a day recently I decided to go for a walk. I walk every day if I can, usually just out of my front door, and I’m so blessed to be in easy reach of good country walks. But this was to be a ‘proper’ walk, out on the fells (Cumbrian dialect for mountains) and well away from the house, so I drove into the Yorkshire Dales, parked the car and set off.
Walking uphill takes time these days, and I kept stopping, ostensibly to look at the view, but in reality getting my breath back. But the views were definitely worth the frequent stops. As the sun gradually lowered, the folds and crevices on the fells deepened and the colours changed - last summer’s bracken a deep bronze, white limestone rocks, bright green moss and over it all a brilliant blue sky. It was stunningly beautiful. Eventually I got high enough to be out of sight of any house or road. There weren’t even any sheep, usually to be found grazing even on the high tops, just the very occasional bird tweeting. I could see for miles and all I could hear was an echoing silence – in other words, nothing.
Whenever I feel distant from the Lord I find the quickest and best way to get back into His presence is to go out into His creation and begin to praise Him. After all, it does tell us in the psalms that ‘The Lord inhabits the praises of His people’ – and I began praising Him. Strangely I was whispering. Nobody would have heard me shouting if I’d wanted to, but I didn’t want to disturb the peace. I felt so small and insignificant in that vast space, just a tiny dot on the huge landscape which our wonderful God had created, and I began to be amazed yet again that the God who created the world around us can number the hairs on our heads and knows us more intimately than we know ourselves.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Creator God, how amazing You are! Thank You for the stunning beauty of Your creation. Thank You that You created me, that You know me and that You love me exactly as I am. Thank You that You also love me too much to leave me as I am, and that day by day You’ll change me into Your likeness. Here I am, Lord, Amen.
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