So glad to join you all again. I hope you all are enjoying your summer and not frying completely. I want to send love and prayers out to those of you who are in the midst of terrible heatwaves. There continues to be chaos and stress-inducing events in the headlines. Collapsing buildings, fires, tornadoes, political unrest, and threats of conflict swirl around our news feeds. We serve an Almighty God who is ultimately in control and always accomplishes His intended purposes, even through strife.
I took some time to enjoy the outdoors recently, as I usually try to do. I was at a local nature preserve park. It was just breathtaking. Within the first few minutes of being there, I was treated to the sight of a hawk, rabbits, squirrels, butterflies, an assortment of other birds. Everything was so lush and tranquil. I posted a photo gallery of my adventure there, so please check that out.
It just really hit me that beauty and adventure is all around us, sometimes right under our noses. I just praised God and thanked Him for giving me sanctuaries like that to venture into. We get so consumed with our own inner world and the happenings around us that we neglect the good things God has provided for us to enjoy. Even in this fallen creation that so desperately longs for God to make all things new, we have so much to enjoy.
I encourage you to really take it all in (not a cheap blog plug, I promise). The flowers in bloom, the quiet chirp of the crickets at night, the soft glow of the moon, the sound of ocean waves, or the feeling of a soft summer breeze. Let yourself enjoy the good as you strive to overcome the bad.
In addition, Harvard Health Publishing recommends spending time outdoors to improve your physical and mental health. Of course, wear your sunscreen and bug spray. But take some time to soak up some sunshine and greenery, just for 15 minutes. And thank God for all He has done, will do, and created for us to enjoy.
If created things are seen and handled as gifts of God and as mirrors of His glory, they need not be occasions of idolatry – if our delight in them is always also a delight in their Maker.– John Piper
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