We have been experiencing lovely weather the past few days. It has been a welcome respite in this unusually hot and humid summer. One evening last week, I sat on the porch bench petting Mouse (our outdoor cat) and enjoying the view of the forest this time of year.
The trees and brush are so thick that one cannot see the house that sits behind the trees where the gravel lane meets the county road. The red barn across the road that is easily seen from my porch in winter is hidden by mid-summer.
I sat on the porch listening to the sounds of the forest. They are quite loud this time of the year. I always chuckle at how people who have never been to the country, much less a heavily forested area, talk about the yearning for the quiet of nature. Nature tends to be anything but quiet at times.
It felt so peaceful on the porch, the flowers in various pots bringing both color and touches of greenery. Two of my plants purchased in spring had to be tossed recently, they were losing their hold on life as I watched. I replaced them with two inexpensive pots of chrysanthemums, one with rust flowers and the other with bright yellow blooms.
Chrysanthemums are some of my very favorite flowers and just as geraniums are the color of my porch in summer, the mums are the hues of fall. It is still summer and we will have more hot weather so only small pots were purchased, those with only enough blooms that show off what colors they produce. More of their blooms will arrive over the next few weeks and by October, they will probably have to be replaced.
However, the joy they bring are far worth the small amount of money they cost. Really, together they cost less than one fast food meal that would be gone in minutes and not all that good for me, anyway. Their beauty along with the other flowers and houseplants sitting on the porch give life to a weary soul.
A verse I often think of when looking at nature is found in Matthew 10 where Jesus is talking about how much God loves us and watches over us. He says that a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without Him knowing and we are worth far more than the sparrows.
Sparrows are tiny birds and that verse never fails to bring wonder when I stop to think about it. Just as I was that evening as the forest provided a choir of birdsong. It was as if all the birds were singing from the same hymnal page, each different but yet in harmony.
I am not as experienced or talented at identifying anything in nature as my friend, Heather (thenaturejournaler on Instagram), so I cannot differentiate the individual birds but I am certain among them was a choir of sparrows.
Do you remember the old hymn, "His Eye is on the Sparrow"? It would be a good time to dust it off and listen to it again... or sing along if your singing does not make people cringe as mine does.
Sometimes we read verses such as this and just kind of blow them off as nice poetry but not really happening, not in the real world. But... this is God's Word and it God breathed so I doubt it is not true. I mean really, why would He include it if it was not true?
He cares about the smallest of birds and how much more he cares for mankind, who is made in the very image of God. We are unique among all of His creation, God gave life to Adam with His very breath. When we accept His offer of salvation in Christ, the Bible tells us His Holy Spirit comes into us to be our friend, our teacher, our comforter, and I would add... our strength.
I have found in looking back at my life that He had been at work in bringing about answers to prayer even when I felt as unseen as a sparrow without a nest as hurricane force winds of adversity were pounding at me. Not unlike the buildings that are hidden by a narrow line of trees between them and the gravel lane. I know they are there, yet... I cannot see them.
We who are alive today find ourselves walking on a journey in what for most of us is in an unfamiliar country. Our surroundings are unknown, even though we have lived in them for decades. If life has changed this month in two years, what will it be like next month... next year... a few years from now?
I don't know but I do know Who holds the future. The same God who made everything the eye can see and what is unseen. Everything. The expanse of the universe. He made it. He knows all about it. Yet, He knows what is going on with you. With me. He loves us with an everlasting love and will not ever let us slip into the unknown.
Image: The lovely wood sign was a gift from my son and daughter-in-law for Christmas a few years ago. It is one of my favorite songs written by Gloria Gaither.