I was leaning on the rail, watching the bubbling stream below. A dipper came and perched on a stone below the bridge. It looked up and bowed twice. Then it turned around, bowed and bobbed again and flew off up the stream. That was nice I thought; a kind of “good morning” from the bird. I hope it found its breakfast. I wonder if it was as polite to other people, or was it just me?
I walked on into the wood and the sun was painting green and gold images with the autumn leaves on the trees. I had to stop and admire the beauty of God’s handiwork. To look at the colours and be able to admire them filled my spirit with a lovely feeling of peace and contentment and the presence of God.
Then I realised the birds were singing. It was a melody of different phrases merging together in a joyous harmony. Why do birds do this? Is it their way of communicating with each other, or do they just enjoy singing? Perhaps it’s another one of God’s ways by which He likes to bless His people. Was this only for me? Probably not. But there it was, for anyone who would listen, with the bubbling and gurgling of the stream adding another dimension to the music.
There was no one else around. I was taking my early morning walk in the wood not far from my house. My wife and I moved into this area just over two years ago, we and are very much aware of the peace and presence of God in this place.
I stopped to listen and allowed the sound to fill my soul. A light breeze whispering through the trees breathed life into my experience. Or was it something else? ‘The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit’ (James 3:8).
As I emerged from the wood to walk back into the village, a lady passed by on the other side of the road. She smiled and said, “Good morning.” I did the same. A simple gesture, but it added another layer to the joy I was feeling.
Why do we not sense His presence at all times? I think it’s about priorities. We dwell on what we believe is important. Yet what can be more important, especially at this time, than to be aware of the continual presence of God? ‘You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart’ (Jeremiah 29:13).
The whole of nature was created for our pleasure. Birds, rainbows, waterfalls, mountains, sunsets. Let’s recapture their beauty and know God’s heart for us, ‘for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom’ (Luke 12:32). Can we stop and reflect for a while, and appreciate all that God wants to give us, and know the depth of His love which is way beyond our understanding? This is food for the soul.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for being just as You are. Thank You for taking me just as I am, without pretence or inhibitions, so that Your love can fill me, and I can know You are my God. Help me, Father, to rest in that truth and receive You fully into my being, today and always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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