Today has been the most beautiful Spring day here in the Highlands. The sky looked newly painted in blue, so cloudless was it, and all around were signs of new life. Daffodils waving merrily at me from the riverbank, birds singing their hearts out as they flew joyously overhead and the trees beginning to show new buds as the sun warmed them. It was easy, just for a moment, to forget the troubles of the world and the threat that we all face from Covid-19 and just enjoy the wonderful gift of creation that God has given us. Despite our lack of care and love for this good earth it goes on living and giving because God upholds and sustains it. As that great poet Gerald Manley Hopkins so wonderfully puts it;
“For all this nature is never spent.
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things.”
Seeing these harbingers of Spring and thinking about God’s presence in the world is both comforting and hopeful. It reminds me that God is present daily in our world and that he will help us to weather the storm that this disease has brought. He is not some remote God watching from a distance, but a God who is actively involved in our world, upholding and sustaining the natural world-and us-if we allow him to. He alone can bring new hope to our world and to us, renewing what looks dead to fresh life. As I looked at the trees around me, still with bare branches but showing new shoots and buds I was also reminded of the image in the book of Revelation where in the new heavens and the new earth the trees of life bear leaves for the healing of the nations. At a time when we so desperately need that healing may I encourage you to pray to the God who upholds the world and all that is in it. Ask him to reveal himself to you as you look out on his world. Ask him for peace to calm your fears and ask him for his creative, healing touch to come on each and every one of us.
“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 22