Friday, November 9, 2012

Lasting Impressions

And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while." (Mark 6:31a NAS)

Pilanesburg National Park
When my wife and I visited Pilanesberg National Park, North West Province of southern Africa in 1999, we were amazed by what we saw of this 55,000 hectare game and wildlife reserve. Although we did not get to see all of the Big Five—the lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant—at the park, what made a lasting impression in my mind was its landscape. I saw from a distance in the cool early morning a spectacle of astounding beauty of valleys and mountains that seemingly span beyond the horizon into the infinity of God’s unparalleled creation. Such was the deep impression I have of the park, besides its awe-inspiring sense of adventure being up close with the animals of the wild and beautiful sunset.

Not all of us are likely to get to visit a park that gives us lasting impressions. We need not however travel far to be able to appreciate the beauty of God’s creation. As a writer, I used to take time over the weekends to go to a nearby park for nature walks to think and get inspiration from God. Early mornings are always the best times to seek solitude within nature as I calm my inner spirit to heighten my senses in listening, smelling, touching, feeling, and seeing.

Are we weary and burdened by the things and activities going on around us? If we are, perhaps a visit to a park or garden nearby can work wonders for us in refreshing our focus. Jesus said, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while" (Mark 6:31). Our Lord is inviting us to go to Him so He can give us rest (Matthew 11:28). If we are ever in doubt of God’s goodness, then let us call to remembrance the things that give us lasting impressions that we may never forget all His benefits and bless Him (Philippians 4:8; Psalm 103:2).

Dear Lord, thank You for the amazing beauty of Your creation. You O Lord have lifted up our spirits and heighten our senses to love You more and more each day. Wonderful are Your works O God that make lasting impressions on our hearts and minds, and we cannot help but to stand in awe of You. We praise You Lord because we have been fearfully and wonderfully made, and our souls find rest in You.

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