"For thus saith the Lord that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the Lord; and there is none else." Isaiah 45:18
Driving up interstate 91, I gazed out at the high green walls surrounding our car and sighed. The mountains were so beautiful, like a plush, green carpet just waiting for someone to walk across with their bare feet. I was back in Vermont again, the state where I had grown up; the place where billboards are outlawed, but maple syrup and creemee signs can be found on every back road corner; where the air is fresh and clean, and the black flies always seem to find you no matter where you are. Yes, we were back in the land of the green mountains. I had to take it all in so I could store it away in my memory banks to get me through until the next time I was able to travel up north.
It never ceases to amaze me how only a couple hours of travel time can change the weather patterns and the landscape that surrounds us. Down here in Connecticut, there are hills, but drive two hours north and there are MOUNTAINS! There is something very comforting about having the protective peaks all around. It always makes me feel secure, like I am settled safely in a little cozy, comfy nest.
As we drove along, I had the sensation that I had completely gone into a different world. I do not mean that I felt like I was transported into an 'alien' kind of world where space ships and UFOs abound, but it was as if I had come out of a stressful, hustling environment into a peaceful, serene paradise. The steadfastness of the mountains, the unchanging guarantee that they would be there just as they had always been was reassuring to me. A peace settled over me, and the reality of the hard economic times we are dealing with at the moment completely disolved for the time being. It was as if my eyes were suddenly opened to the beautiful sights around me. I was no longer near sighted, like Peter who focused on the waves around him and forgot to look up to Jesus for help. The old saying, 'stop and smell the roses' is so very true. We need to make time to slow down and look around us.
Sometimes I wonder if so many people have given up on God because they have forgotten to look at His creation and see the mighty works of His hand and the power of His might. God created this earth for His pleasure and glory, but He placed us on the earth to inhabit it, just as the verse from Isaiah says. Seeing that it is His earth, we do need to be good stewards of what He has given us and take care of His property, but all in good balance.
When I see the solidness of the mountains, it reminds me of the unchangingness of God. Yes, the mountains can shift in earthquakes, they can have tornadoes blow all their trees down, and they can have mudslides that may wash away all the dirt covering them, but God will never, CAN NEVER, be moved or changed. Just as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west, we can depend on our God to always be there, just because He said it in His Word. Just as God promised, "While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease," (Gen 8:22) we shall continue to have seasons on this earth that will portray His great story to us. Springtime represents new life; Jesus came as a brand new baby, born into this world as a wee little infant, with the promise of new life ahead of Him. Summer represents the life of Christ, as He went about doing the will of His Father, teaching and preaching the precious Gospel. Then comes Autumn, when the leaves change to bright reds, yellows, and oranges, bringing back to rememberance the blood that Jesus shed on the cross in our place. Winter comes, and with it comes death and darkness, feeling like no hope is left for us to cling to. Just as the disciples felt after Jesus had died and was gone from their life, we may feel the heaviness of the cold and dark. Finally, comes spring again, when Jesus rose from the tomb and gave us the promise of new life, to one day live with Him if we only believe on His name. It is a beautiful picture of Jesus's love for us that cycles over and over again through the seasons. It is no wonder that God will never end the seasons until the earth is no more!
Take the time to look away from the stressful circumstances of life, and focus on God's creation around you today, and see what He is trying to show you through the wonderful works of His hands.