Friday, September 19, 2014

Glory to God

WI Coulee Country

This last weekend I traveled with a friend on an annual pilgrimage to what is known to fly-fisherman as “Coulee Country”. The western part of the State of Wisconsin is geologically known as the “Driftless Area” where the glaciers moved through during the last Ice-age and creating incredible and beautiful, hilly topography.  Eskers and morrains rise 350 feet bordering Shangra La - like river valleys. The pastoral scene is accented by bright yellow, purple, pink and blue wild flowers, green forests of oak and maple beginning to turn shades of orange, yellow and red. Down the middle meanders babbling brooks with names like Chaffee Creek, Timber Coulee and the West Branch of the Kickapoo, named after indigenous Native Americans.   The sun warms the air with silence broken only occasionally by the clip-clop of an Amish cart or an eagle call as it soars above.

“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 display knowledge.” Psalm 19:1-2.   The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 1:20, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities- his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.”

This is the place I go to be refreshed and revived from the noise and busyness of the city life. Here I find rest. The Psalmist David often takes us to nature scenes.  “As a deer pants for streams of (living) water, so my soul pants for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.”( Ps 42:1).  Here is this river valley I seek Him. “My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my Rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.” (Ps 63:1-2).  God calls to us to rest in his presence, to find peace and joy where he is strong in speaking his creative love for us through nature.

I have included a couple of photos or my pilgrimage sites. In your minds eye, place yourself there. Hear, see, smell and feel the enwrapping beauty of God’s handy-work.  Perhaps you have a favorite place you go to be restored and to find God?  Perhaps it is a chair in the silence of the pre-dawn hours, or it is in your imagination. God wants us to find these places to find him. “Draw near to God and he will draw near to you.” (James 4:8).  The Psalmist David in Ps 16:11 tells us, “In his presence is fullness of joy, at his right hand pleasures forevermore.”

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