I woke up this morning to find snow all over today’s page so it was in to work by six to get both inside and outside work done to start the day. The snow kept coming all day long but the temperature was just warm enough that the sidewalks stayed snow-free once I cleared them. As night fell and the temperature started to fall, the snow kept coming and began to accumulate again so I need to plan on being to work early again tomorrow. The nice thing about starting work early is getting done with work early. Today was one of those days, so even with the snow still falling I left work at 3 and headed down to Potato Creek again to spend some time with God in the quietness of nature.
Before I got there, I spent part of the work day writing another week’s devotions for the current series I am working on. The topic I worked on today was “Serving With Strength”. While each day will look at a different aspect of the strength we serve with, the week ties together the idea that to be effective we must serve through God’s strength and not our own. As I worked on this writing project, a cardinal began singing loudly outside my office window. Perched on snow-clad branches, it looked as beautiful as it sounded.
When I finally arrived at Potato Creek, everything was covered by a blanket of fresh snow. With the snow still falling, I tucked a camera under my jacket and another one under my arm and took off for a hike through the snow. While the eagles were keeping out of sight, the beauty of the park kept me busy snapping photos throughout my hike. As I returned to my truck, I passed through a picnic and playground area. I thought about, and prayed for, the families who would spend time picnicking under these trees and playing at the playground as winter turned to spring and spring to summer. Some of my favorite memories are of family times spent at state parks in a variety of locations. Growing up on the farm we worked hard but I still clearly remember times when mom and dad would take the family to a park where we would have a picnic, play, and hike together as a family. My family and I had dinner with my parents tonight and I was reminded of a couple specific trips and could picture the settings in my mind as clearly as if we had all gone yesterday.
Unfortunately, I’ve also been at playgrounds and parks when what I observe is anything but peaceful. God’s desire is that we live in peace and harmony with one another — and with Him. In spite of the best designed and most peaceful settings available, our peace with one another, and with God, can only be found through a relationship with His Son, Jesus. I pray that you and I would seek peace with God and through Him, with one another. I pray that we would pay attention to the beauty that God has created and make the most of the opportunities we have to enjoy it in times of rest and reflection. I pray that we would find ways to grow together as strong families — both within our physical families and the family of God that Christ has adopted us into.