Monthly Archives: March 2017

Spring Shows God’s Goodness Is Everywhere!

Blind Faith (No. 13, 2017)
Weekly Devotional for March 30, 2017
Spring Shows God’s Goodness Is Everywhere!

Ask people what their favorite season is and invariably a large
number will say it is spring. Fall presents a fairly persuasive case, too,
especially when a sweltering summer is followed by refreshingly crisp
evenings and colorful displays of autumnal foliage – and college football!
Despite the heat, summer is attractive to some because of long days for
water sports and other leisure, vacation travel, and waves of vine-ripe
tomatoes and other fresh garden produce. Winter most often trails in a
distant fourth place in popularity, perhaps appealing most to lovers of
Christmas, or hot cocoa and fireplaces, or snow skiers and snowboarders (and
my interest is aroused with them!). But the stirring of life in spring that
produces glorious cascades of flowers, verdant trees and lawns that banish
the bare, sullen sameness of winter, and inspires hopeful expectation
expressed in gardens and fields is hard to beat. Spring is officially here,
and I hope you are relishing it fully!

Spring inherently is a season for reawakening. Nature exhibits
it. Our spirits typically respond in harmonic resonance. Hope resurges and
many times our awareness of and openness to God’s presence and goodness are
heightened. Spring may be the most consistent demonstration of the truth of
natural theology that Paul offers as a foundation for our faithful
relationship with God: “God’s eternal power and character cannot be seen.
But from the beginning of creation, God has shown what these are like by all
he has made.” (Romans 1:20a CEV) Take some time to breathe in a fresh spring
breeze, marvel at blossoming spring flowers, or join in some joyful spring
activity and recall that these and all other good gifts are part of God’s
good creation.

This recognition of God’s goodness from what God has made
precedes Paul’s summary statement in the first generation after Jesus’ life,
death, and resurrection. Two psalms express both the experience of wonder
and worship we can have as we observe God’s goodness arrayed for all to see,
and the hope of our hearts as we are drawn to God in thanks and praise for
his creative grace. I had read these psalms before, but had glossed too
hurriedly over their application to faithful appreciation of the splendor of
spring. Psalm 65 begins with praise for God’s grace in protecting, blessing,
and safeguarding us – calling us to be at home with him. It proceeds in
verses 9-13 to wonderment that the God of all creation works through all of
nature to offer more than enough blessings and goodness to meet all of our
needs. The first verses of Psalm 66 take up the glad praise befitting our
ever-fresh experiences of God’s goodness through the countless ways he
demonstrates his love for us. Read the psalms with spring on your mind:

Our God, we look forward to praising you in Zion. We will keep our promises
to you.
2 All people will come to you, because you hear and answer prayer.
3 When our sins became too much for us, you forgave our lawless acts.
4 Blessed are those you choose and bring near to worship you.
You bring us into the courtyards of your holy temple. There in your house we
are filled with all kinds of good things.
5 God our Savior, you answer us with right and wonderful deeds.
People all over the world and beyond the farthest oceans put their hope in
you.
6 You formed the mountains by your power. You showed how strong you are.
You calmed the oceans and their roaring waves.
You calmed the angry words and actions of the nations.
8 Everyone on earth is amazed at the wonderful things you have done.
What you do makes people from one end of the earth to the other sing for
joy.
9 You take care of the land and water it. You make it able to grow many
crops.
You fill your streams with water. You do that to provide the people with
grain.
That’s what you have decided to do for the land.
10 You water its rows. You smooth out its bumps.
You soften it with showers. And you bless its crops.
11 You bring the year to a close with huge crops.
You provide more than enough food.
12 The grass grows thick even in the desert.
The hills are dressed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks and herds.
The valleys are dressed with grain.
They sing and shout for joy. (Psalm 65 NIRV)

Shout to God for joy, everyone on earth!
2 Sing about the glory of his name! Give him glorious praise!
3 Say to God, “What wonderful things you do!” Your power is so great that
your enemies bow down to you in fear.
4 Everyone on earth bows down to you. They sing praise to you. They sing the
praises of your name.”
5 Come and see what God has done.
See what wonderful things he has done for people! (Psalm 66:1-5 NIRV)

Rain or shine, warm or cool. They are part of God’s gracious
goodness displayed everywhere! Enjoy a glorious spring day – and give thanks
to God for it!

– J. Edward Culpepper

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