Those of you who are observant might have noticed that there was no Blog from me last week! I was away camping with some of my children and grandchildren. We had a wonderful time making memories and enjoying God’s handiwork.
As we walked through the HOH Rain Forest (no rain in sight and 80+ degrees!) I was amazed once again at how specific and intentional God was when He created creation and established the varied cycles of life that keep our universe functioning so amazing! Last year I taught botany to three of my grandchildren and it was fun for me to remember some of those lessons as we walked through the forest. We learned lichens (a complex life form of algae and fungus) are great indicators of how clean the air is–the more they prosper the greater the indication of healthy air quality! We saw gigantic big leaf maple trees providing ephiphytes–or plants growing on other pants which had mosses, , spike mosses, ferns and lichens all growing on them! Nurse logs which help provide germination for the next generation of trees.
I was fascinated by the variety of plants and trees in our short 3/4 of a mile walk. I was also fascinated by the variety of languages we heard as other tourists joined our trek. German, French, Asian and (plus the various American dialects) and those are just the ones I heard as we marveled at God’s handiwork. It was crowded, hot and not quite what we expected, but it was still a great day for me. (My daughter Elizabeth commented, “I didn’t know we came to Disneyland!”
My soul was restored by the trip. When we returned home to church the next Sunday, Pastor Rich Irwin, a guest speaker from Anchorage, Alaska spoke a message entitled “Beauty in the Glory of God”. As he walked us through Psalm 104, the memories of those beautiful moss covered sunlit trees kept coming to my mind. He discussed the difference between useful, efficient and beautiful, and how we need both. At the end of the message, he brought it all home. If we only judge things useful or efficient then we rob ourselves from God’s joy and purpose–especially if we do that to people. Years ago we were part of a nursing home ministry. Some of the lovely people there were believers and I asked the Lord why He did not just take them home. He told me they are still serving my purpose. I am using them to help you not be selfish and to learn to think about others. There are no throw away people to our God.
Once during our house ministry days someone came to me complaining about a child and their behavior. I admit I was a little short with them and I said “what do you want the parents to do? Throw them away?” All of God’s creation works together to reveal His glory. He desires our attitude, character and actions do the same. Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace as we grow in your ways. Help me to not dismiss others because of what I think their usefulness may or may not be. I may be a nurse log for others to grow upon. And Lord, especially help me when I deem myself useless.