Have you ever wondered about the way God works through our ordinary lives to open our eyes to his special places?
In need of rest and refreshment, we recently headed for our favourite beach haunt for two weeks of low-key relaxation and socialising.
Having reacquainted myself with a familiar beach view that I have known and loved for more than 50 years, I experienced a feeling of great thankfulness to God that this beautiful view represents a continuity of life and something I can rely on. Like faith.
Gazing at this view is balm for the soul, and it made me think of some picturesque images from the book of Genesis, with its stories of how this wonderful world we inhabit came to be.
The writers of Genesis tell us that “God named the dry ground land, and he named the water ocean. God looked at what he had done and saw that it was good” (Genesis chapter 1, verse 10).
Looking out at the glorious sea view, I think I know how God must have felt.
The wonderful stories of creation don’t stop there, with our lush trees, bush birds and fragrant bushes also being part of God’s plan to give us a world that can heal us when we are feeling jaded or bruised. Having access to this natural beauty is one of the best healing agents I know.
Genesis tells us that God also shared this appreciation. “And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis chapter 1 verse 31).
I was musing on the power of these healing images following a health crisis in our family, now happily resolved, where survival or death was a close call.
I reached out to a dear friend who shares my faith and asked for her support and prayers. She responded with beautiful words of strength and comfort that I took with me into my own prayers and meditations.
“Sleep sound and leave it all in God’s almighty hands. He’s got it.”
What a powerful thing to say!
My friend continued with, “What will we be without faith? It accompanies me all the time; I turn to prayer in everything.”
She was spot on. The combination of drawing strength from the beauty of God’s world in those special places where we go to refresh our lives, and the knowledge that God is always there for us are precious gifts.
This strength is open to everyone, even if faith is not a big thing in your life. In the iconic Australian television series Brides of Christ, young nun Sister Catherine tearfully tells old Irish nun Sister Patrick that she feels she is losing her grip. The wise old sister stretches out her gnarled hand, grips young Catherine’s hand and simply says “Take mine!”
Those of us with a strong faith can pray on behalf of those who can’t, and God will listen.