Autumn has begun! With the start of a new season, excitement and anticipation start to burst forth each morning. Autumn is one of my favorite seasons. It brings cool temperatures, beautiful bright colors, crisp smell of change in the air, and many other wonderful enjoyments. Personally I am a cold-weather person, maybe this is because I was born in the winter, but I love the cool/cold temperatures, sweaters, scarfs, blankets, hot drinks, the seasonal foods, the way the cold air changes your cheeks and nose to a pink color, and the joyful nature of all the holidays and beautiful lights. I understand everyone is not the same and some people wish summer would never end, we are all unique and have different likes and dislikes. One thing we all have in common though is that God made this beautiful, vast world including us. Here are four categories in which nature shows God's hand, love, care, design, and presence.
There are four seasons, Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter. As the Bible states, there will always be seasons, cold and heat, as long as the Earth exists, which we know will be until God destroys it, in the end, to make a new heaven and earth (read Revelation).
Spring: the season of new birth, life, freshness, and blossoms. Spring shouts God's name by proclaiming the life God gives, the newness He bestows, and the blooming He cultivates. As the grass starts growing, the trees leaves turn green and blossoms start appearing, we can see clearly that only a beautiful, loving, and caring God could have created and designed such detailed and complex wonders. From the tiniest flower to the largest tree, God pays attention to each detail and cares for each thing. Spring shows us that God is perfect.
Summer: the season of growth, work, reaping, and learning. Summer shouts God's name by producing plants and food for humans and animals to reap and enjoy. God provides for His creations and with a tender hand, reaches out to us. During summer the sun rises early and sets later giving more daylight for work and learning. The crops and flowers grow most in the summer because of the warmth the sun provides and the insects that pollinate them to bloom more abundantly and lovely. Summer shows us that God is omniscient.
Autumn/Fall: the season of harvest, change, reflection, and aging. Autumn shouts God's name by portraying the artistic hand of God. Through bright yellow, orange, and red colored leaves the color palette of God truly is unmatched. There are moments when I want to take a photo of a beautiful sunset, but no camera can truly capture God's work as it is far beyond anything we could produce. Seeing the squirrels collecting as many acorns as they can before the winter air arrives, and the sun starts to arrive later and departs earlier clearly showing that Autumn has arrived. God has a time for each and everything thing and the Autumn preparations show that we are on God's timing not our own.
Winter: the season of peace, cleansing, stillness, and rest. Winter shouts God's name by preserving the seeds that have fallen during Autumn, cleansing the effects of summer and Autumn, and quietly resting from the toil of the heat before the cycle starts again. As the cold air moves in, the animals hibernate, and gentle snowflakes fall from the sky, nature calls out to us showing us that even in the dark, damp, and dead moments of life, God is with us. He comforts, guides, protects, and calms us through the night and reassures us that the dawn will soon approach again. Winter shows us that God is omnipresent.
2. Stars & Space
When you look up during a clear night and see the few stars that are visible to our eyes, even those few seem to expand beyond our vision and twinkle with a radiant luminosity. It is as if God is showing us that there is more than just us in this world, we are smaller than we think, and to remind us that when we look up, which is far less than we should, we see true beauty that only a loving God could create. It also reminds us that with all the stress this world produces, the worries we struggle with, and the difficulties that arise, the only thing that truly matters is our relationship with Jesus Christ, our Creator.
How many animals can you think of? Each year it seems a new species is "discovered". God created each and everyone animal and insect and knows them all by name. Sometimes it is difficult to understand the use or purpose of certain animals or insects, ones we think are pest, but even those were created by God. When you take the time to truly look at the design of an animal it is unfathomable the attentiveness and love God has. Take a cat, for instance, each one has a beautiful design from simple color to multi-colors and patterns. Each cat's face is so structured and detailed that it almost looks as if they are wearing makeup, their eyes are mesmerizing and their skill is fascinating. The way a cat can fall from a high area and still land on its feet! Only a perfect, attentive, and creative God could have designed such unique and astonishing animals. Or think about an ant, the tiny little insect that we do our best to keep out of our homes. It works hard in its community, they help each other out carrying different loads of supplies or food, and God cares for them just as much as the cat. Ants bodies are built to have its own special armor to keep it protected and strong. Some ants have the ability to bite and sting, producing a painful and annoying itch that warns you not to go near their home again. How can such a small insect be cared for and designed so perfectly and thoughtfully? Only by an all-knowing, powerful Artist that truly cares for each and every one of His creations. Every animal shouts God's name by its appearance, skill/talent, structure, strength, agility, or intelligence.
We all have heard that everyone is unique and no two people are alike. This is a true statement, but let's go into a bit more detail. God creates each human by hand, knowing exactly what that person will be named, who will be his/her parents, how many hairs that person will have throughout his/her life, every word said, every thought, and every action that person will do before that person is even formed. God knows every struggle, every sin, every secret, every detail about each and every person. Our bodies are so intricate that we still do not know everything about it. For example, doctors still do not know why we have an appendix. Only God knows why He created what He did and the purpose for each and every thing. One thing I greatly respect and personally believe is correct is how Koreans count age, at least the first part anyway. Their system of counting someone's age is a bit complex, but the first part is that they start counting from the moment of conception. As soon as a baby is conceived, that is a human being. Therefore, when that baby is born after the ~9 months that baby is 1 year old (they round-up so it's one year). The very moment a person is conceived, they are a human and God has a plan for them. We are all unique, we all have different skin, eye, hair, and lip colors, different heights and weights, different chemicals and scents, different personalities, skills and talents, and different purposes in life. Next time you look in the mirror, remember God created you down to your eyelashes and toenails. When you look at someone with a disability, remember God created them and loves them just as much as He loves you. When you look at someone you don't like, remember God created them and has a purpose for their life. Look at each person as a creation of the Almighty God, treat each person with respect and love, and live out your purpose in life (your unique purpose) while being a disciple for Jesus (everyone's command).
Take a look around and thank God for the beauty He has made. Look for God's hand and fingerprint in this world, from the smallest leaf to the largest mountain and take time each day to discover a new way nature is shouting God's name.