The Bare Soul - March 16, 2008
God's Encouraging Love

I am constantly reminded through God's creation how much He loves us. Whether it be a a gorgeous red and orange morning sky, a clear starlit night, or through a rainbow after a misty rain (or in any number of ways), God is always there speaking if we would but listen and observe. Personally, I have something that has been happening to me the past few months that has me in awe. It seems that hawks and falcons have been my companion more than I can remember. It started a few months ago when I was walking from one outside alcove to another at my corporate campus. I was taken totally by surprise when a falcon swooped through the covered walkway inches over my head and headed back up into blue sky. From that time on, I have been conscious of the dozen or so other experiences where hawks or falcons will either be swooping in front of me during one of my runs or simply soaring over my head as I am out on one of my many running routes. They are random encounters that appear to be different birds on each occasion. They strike me of the suddenness of how God infuses our lives with His loving encouragement. How wonderful to know that God uses an animal with some of the keenest eye sight on the planet to remind us that He is watching over us!

It is not uncommon for us all to go through trying times and to feel like we are all just going through the motions. I wrote recently how running (not to mention daily life!) can become mundane and generally joyless. I find it remarkable and inspiring when the Lord Jesus comes "suddenly into His temple" (Malachi 3:1) and He speaks His loving words, such as through creation's metaphors. The wonderful thing about Christ doing this is that it doesn't matter what He speaks, because He is the Life-giver! Everything that He will speak to us will bring forth life if we allow it. Even those words of correction or discipline are joyous reminders of how much He loves us (Proverbs 13:24).

Birds of prey are truly remarkable creatures of God. They soar above all the earth and seem to be untouched by the turmoil below. Yet, they have uncanny eyesight and are able to size up the situation below them to the smallest detail. God gently reminds us that He loves us and cares for every detail of our lives as we are enveloped in His beautiful wing metaphors throughout the scripture. Not only will we mount up with wings as eagles (Isaiah 40:31), but we will also be protected and covered by the wings and pinions of His love (Psalm 36:7). The reminder of His spiritual majesty by the physical manifestations of the birds of prey in my life lift my heart and my soul to fly with God in those moments. What has the Lord shown you of His wonderful love through creation? It may be something as simple as a sunrise or the redemption story of the Lord Jesus Christ in the seasons of the year corresponding to His death, burial, and resurrection. Creation cries out declaring the glory of His Majesty (Psalm 19:1). May God share His whispers of love with all of us through His marvelous creation!

Lord, may we all experience your majesty and love through the wonders of the world we live in. Creation speaks joyously of your love. Thank you for your precious love whispers. In Jesus Name. Amen

Your barefoot servant,

Barefoot Rick

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