Birds of a feather

A widow in deep sorrow was sitting alone at the park. Months earlier, her husband of many years was killed in a car accident. She prayed aloud, “God, I’m so lonely and sad. The last words I said to my husband the day he died were harsh. I just want him to know I love him and I’m sorry.”

Just then, two cardinals landed on the sidewalk right in front of her, so close she could almost touch them. A gasp escaped from her lips as a tear rolled down her cheek. Cardinals were her man’s favorite bird. There they were. Not just one, but two. A pair. Mates for life.

What’s really interesting to me is “cardinal” means of prime importance. The one thing. The main thing. God wanted this woman to know the one thing – she was loved. He saw her need and answered her prayer. God whispered to her spirit. Her man knew she loved him and that she hadn’t meant those ugly words. And now she knew it, too.

Experiencing God in nature.

Romans 1:20 says, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.”

God speaks to us through nature. Look at fields of wild flowers or autumn trees and you may very well hear God’s whisper of love. Mountain ranges so beautiful they take your breath away exalt God and speak of his majesty. The exhilaration of crisp cool air and wisps of wind are like kisses from heaven. Digging in warm earth, partnering with God to create food and flowers are all ways God reveals himself through nature.

God’s creativity, power and beauty is revealed through nature so that none can deny him. And, … sometimes he uses nature to speak right in to our hearts.

God speaks through nature.

I’ll never forget the first time I stood in the ocean. It was 2am and the moon hung low in the sky above the expanse. On the full horizon, from left to right as far as I could see, sky met the water. Gingerly, I stepped into the ocean and felt the battle of the surf as the waves coming in sucked away the receding waters.

As I stood in the tug of war in those shallow waters, eye to eye with the huge yellow moon, I felt God speak peace and assurance into my spirit.

I’d come to this ocean at war with my husband. We were in a perpetual tug of wills and this trip was arranged to reset and restart.

As I stood shin deep in the Pacific Ocean, I knew that the God who had set the moon and stars in place, who had created the vast waters in front of me and orchestrated this moment in time to experience his limitless power and majesty, could certainly bring peace to my turbulent marriage.

Mile Markers

That moment has stayed with me for decades as a reminder, a marker of God’s love and consideration for me. Whenever there is upheaval in relationships or an overwhelming sense of dis-ease in my soul, I remember how the God of the universe set the boundaries for the ocean and hung the moon just for me to experience.

Has God spoken to you through nature? I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a comment below. I’ll read every one.

Verse of the day: The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. Psalm 19:1-2

Prayer: God, so many times I wonder if you’re there. If you see me. If you care. And then I encounter you in nature so powerfully it makes me weep. You are so gracious, Father to reveal to me the love you have for me. More than sparrows. More than the lilies of the field. Oh Lord, you are so good to me.

6 Comments

  1. Celeste Rubanick on May 17, 2020 at 11:41 pm

    I’m not sure there’s a way to attach the photo I’d like to send you, but I’ll get it to you through email. I just spent the last 2 hours reading through your messages from the last year that I chose to read again “when I had time.” Well, today was the day! And as soon as I’d done that, I opened my email to find your latest. I moved to Hawaii on April 29th to help care for my soon-to-be-born first (and only, I’m sure) grandson. My daughter was born here and I have a lot of memories of the three years my husband and I lived here. The 7th anniversary of his death was May 3rd. Two days ago,I hiked alone up to one of his favorite spots above the ocean, and was immediately greeted by 2 red crested cardinals. And I mean greeted! They wouldn’t leave me alone! I knew it was a message from Rich, so imagine my surprise to read your story today!

    I’ll figure out a way to email you the photo… Thanks!

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 18, 2020 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Celeste, wow!!! what a testimony.
      Thank you so much for posting today!
      Perfect timing.

      I got the photo, too! Thanks.

  2. Carlene Askew on May 18, 2020 at 12:49 am

    This message spoke to my heart today. My husband of 48 years passed suddenly on February 28. I’m so thankful our last words were not bitter in nature and that we were in a good place in our relationship when God took him home. God speaks comfort to me everyday as I look out at his creation. My husband and I shared the love of green grass, trees, lakes, flowers, fresh vegetables. Thank you, Father for your great love for us and peace.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 18, 2020 at 6:00 pm

      Carlene,

      So very sorry about your man’s death. Ugh. Now having to process your grief in the midst of a pandemic has to be challenging. Hope you are getting some support from family or friends or church.

      I loved the image of you and your man sharing God’s creation. May He continue to touch and comfort your heart through creation.

  3. Arlene Grebe on May 18, 2020 at 5:44 pm

    Several years ago, my husband,son-in-law and daughter and I took a trip to the Grand Canyon in winter. As the men were doing their photography, we sat on a bench, and took in the snow covered canyons. My daughter mentioned how beautiful everything was, and I said how all of this was possible because of God. We just sat there, and had a very special moment in our lives together. It was so special sharing this time with her.

    • Robyn Dykstra on May 18, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      Oh, this makes my heart happy. Thanks for posting Arlene!

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