Every time I go for a walk recently, I notice that the trees are changing color a little more each day. What a dramatic presentation of God’s beauty! In Psalm 148 we pray:

“Praise the Lord, sun and moon;

praise him, all you shining stars...

you fruit trees and all you cedars...

His majesty is above earth and heaven.”

Some years ago Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote a poem entitled, “God’s Grandeur,” in which he writes:

“The world is charged

with the grandeur of God.

It will flame out, like shining

from shook foil;

It gathers to a greatness,

like the ooze of oil

Crushed. Why do men then

now not reck his rod?”

That is a problem. Many times we don’t recognize God at work around us. We are so busy rushing from one task to another that we drive right past the various expressions of God’s grandeur. We can get so caught up in our own little world of concerns, that we don’t see the bigger world.

But if I can just notice the grandeur of God around me, especially at this time of year, then I can also begin to recognize God walking beside me with his rod through various valleys of darkness that I pass through. I am not alone. God walks with me. That gives me confidence and courage to face the darkness. The darkness will still be there. But I have confidence as I pass through it.

It is a very helpful reminder to know that God walks with me.

Take time these days and notice the beauty of nature around you. It will be a step in strengthening your spiritual life, as well.

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