It’s getting quite autumnal here. We’ve had rain, we’ve had massive winds, we’ve had amazing sunshine and we’ve had warm stillness. And damp.
And of course, Richard and I tramp through the countryside around us on all days, in all weathers. When it’s raining, we sometimes head off to a deep valley and a wooded gorge to keep a bit dry. When the sun shines, we head upwards around the pastures and the high up fells to enjoy the wide views stretching miles. But after all the rain, wherever we go across the fields, we tend to be slithering through the mud churned up by the cows.
What generosity there is in the land at this time of year! The water! Yes, the water is abundant! The River Tyne comes surging with massive currents. The deep water has a different noise from the shallow. There’s a forward movement of power in the water and the heron keeps back further to the edges.
I am full with the sense of God’s abundance. The meadows are sprinkled with yellow splodges; the woods matted with fir cones, pine needles, beech leaves, husks and nuts. The last foliage on the trees form lacey patterns of golden lights through nearly bare branches. There’s a deep earthy pungency of damp grass, fungi, beech nuts, berries and wind-fallen fruit. This morning, every blade of grass is sparkling with a pearly drop of rainwater.
What a God we have! What an overflow of abundance God has! If every bird, every squirrel, every bird, rabbit, bug and insect came together to gather it all, and eat it all, and store it all, do you think it would all be gone? No! There’s so much, and so much in abundance. Piles of it to spare! Some of the nuts and fruits will get buried in the leaf litter and sprout as new saplings for next year. And all the rotted leaf mould will feed the cycle for next year’s abundance. God doesn’t stint.
Generosity is such a theme of scripture. Just listen to what Paul says to the Corinthians about giving:
‘Here’s the point: he who plants sparingly also harvests sparingly. Each should give according to what he has decided in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver ... He who provides both seed for the planter and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed and increase the harvest of your righteousness ... You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous in everything ...’ (2 Corinthians 9: 6-12).
Prayer: Thank You, God, that You are such an amazingly generous unstinting Giver. Help me to receive Your love and to give to You and to others with a heart of generosity in all I do and am. Amen.
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