The Power of Nature – and Nature’s God

Va Mountains On a recent car trip, I was snapping photos of the idyllic southwestern Virginia countryside, admiring the beauty of God’s creation. When the traffic slowed down, I saw it as a great opportunity to take photos without having to contend with the motion of the car. Soon the bumper-to-bumper traffic on the major highway concerned me. Had there been an accident? I started praying for whomever might be experiencing problems.

I was still taking photos when suddenly we came upon what looked like a war scene from a movie. Splintered trees. Flattened homes and businesses. Car parts, clothing, and insulation—things that should have remained on solid ground—waved from the shattered tops of trees. It took a few minutes for my shock to change to realization. The town beside us had within the past days or hours experienced horrific tornadoes. Lost homes. Lost lives. A hometown forever changed.

I remembered the recent tornadoes in Alabama and other southern states and for the first time understood in a small way the people’s pain and their plight.

At times like these, people often wonder, “Where was God?” That is a discussion for another day. For there is no easy answer, but I know He was there and He cares.

My own question that somber day was this: “After seeing this kind of power in just the wind and storms, how can anyone doubt the infinitely greater power of the living God?”

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.

For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse” (Rom. 1:18–20 NASB).

 

Easter Every Day

I remember an old story called “Christmas Every Day” where a little girl wished for it to be Christmas every day. For a few days, she got her wish. Each morning she found new presents to open, sweets to eat, and relatives and friends to greet. Each afternoon they all had to eat a big feast. After a few days of this, everyone got grouchy. They stopped appreciating the presents and rich foods and got tired of being together. Finally, the girl decided to rescind her wish. She had finally realized that special occasions lose their appeal when they are no longer special, when they recur too often.

Well, I would like to have Easter every day. But not in the way most people tend to think of Easter. I’d like to continue to limit the glorious sunrise services to once a year, on the day when we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Not really a sweets lover, I’m content to wait until next year for the candy bunnies, chicks, and eggs. Colored hard-boiled eggs are pretty and tasty, but again, next Easter is soon enough.

The Easter I want to celebrate each and every day is the remembrance that Jesus died for my sins and rose from the grave. That His death and Resurrection open the way for me to have eternal life with Him in heaven. That He is risen, just as He said, and He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and one day every knee will bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Yes, I pray for Easter to live in my heart and life every single day. Unlike the girl in the Christmas story, I know I will never tire of this daily celebration, for it is life and truth and hope—both for me and for the whole world.

The Greatest Gift

A friend gave me a small purple purse this evening. It was wrapped beautifully and was accompanied by a sweet note in a card. She told me the bag is for collecting blessings—things I’m thankful for, Scripture verses that are special to me, memories of answered prayers, or evidence of God’s working in my life. The whole family can get involved, and then we can read the notes we’ve collected when we celebrate Thanksgiving.

Each day, I’m grateful to see the beauty of nature behind our house, hear the melody of birds, and enjoy the glory that accompanies the setting sun. Each day I marvel at all the ways God has blessed me. But lately, I’ve been especially thankful for the best gift of all—the gift of Jesus and His salvation that He offers freely to all who believe in Him and ask Him to live inside them and be Lord of their lives.

To me, Easter—or Resurrection Day, which is coming up soon—is the most joyous day of the year, because it means we can live eternally with the One who loves us best. This month our online TV shows focus on this wonderful truth: we serve a risen Savior—God manifested in the flesh in Jesus Christ.

What are you thankful for? Is Easter just another holiday for eating sweets and having fun? Or is it, as it is meant to be, the glorious commemoration of God’s power that raised Jesus from the dead, of His mercy that doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve, and of His grace that gives believers hope and the promise of heaven? I hope this year, it will be for you a celebration of the best gift of all.