by Joanne Hagemyer
For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them He has set the world. 1 Samuel 2:8 NIV
I spent a lot of time outside as a little girl, and specially loved the woods and fields of Rochester, New York, where I went to camp. I learned how to catch salamanders in a rippling brook using only a blade of grass. I caught frogs in the lake, mirrored buttercup flowers under my chin, and watched Queen Anne’s Lace flowers turn brilliant colors in cups of water and food dye. I loved the soft pussy willows and the cheerful smiles on all the pansies. I learned that morning glories only bloom in the morning, and honey suckle really does taste sweet.
Every week we would take an overnight backpacking trip, gather wood to build our own fire, and sleep under the stars. I loved to watch the sun rise on those early dawns, sitting in my warm sleeping bag, on the cool, dewy grass.
On Fridays, we made taffy and spent a half hour or more pulling the warm, gooey molasses mixture back and forth to give it texture before we ate it. Then we would all jump in the lake and swim with the minnows and ducks.
Sunday mornings we walked over to the chapel next to our camp house to sing hymns and hear a sermon. My favorite hymn was “Fairest Lord Jesus,” because it made me think of Jesus being with us outside.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands, robed in the blooming garb of spring; Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer, who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine, fairer still the moonlight, and all the twinkling starry hosts: Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer, than all the angels heav’n can boast.
At the end of Revelation, Jesus said to John, “It is I, Jesus, who sent my angel to you with this testimony for the churches. I am the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16 NIV). This name for Jesus reminds me of how I loved watching the rays of earth’s bright morning star, our sun, tint the dawn’s skies with rich purples, pinks, golds, and blues. How much more, especially in a dark day can Jesus, God’s Son, fill our inner person with the richness and freshness of his glorious light.
David wrote: “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of world” (Psalm 19:1-4 NASB). They say a picture is worth a thousand words. One sunrise, one delicate flower, or one star-filled night can increase our understanding with no words at all as to how beautiful and great He is.
O Lord, all creation loves You and worships You, for You are the fairest of all there is. You shine brighter and purer even than all the angels in the sky, who announced your birth. May you make our sorrowing spirits sing, even during our own dark days.
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Joanne Guarnieri Hagemeyer, retired Teaching Leader and Area Advisor with Bible Study Fellowship, now teaches at Grace and Peace, Joanne, and serves on the pulpit teaching team of New Hope Chapel, Arnold, Maryland. She is a member of the Board of Directors for Lay Counselor Institute and the Biblical Archaeology Forum and has participated in two archaeological excavations, at Tel Kabri and Tel Akko, Israel. She is currently a Masters in Theological Studies student at Portland Seminary and author of Love Feast (January 2020) and Broken, Searching, Trusted, Powerful (July 2020). To learn more about Joanne, please visit GraceandPeaceJoanne.com, watch a lecture on YouTube, or visit her on Facebook.
Join the conversation: What have you found in nature that reveals God to you?