Thursday, January 26, 2012

Convincing Me!

This week I’ve enjoyed the Florida Gulf coast, in a different way than Santorum, Gingrich and Romney! I’m not working any crowds, doing any convincing, like they are these days. Instead I’m BEING CONVINCED. And politics has nothing to do with it!

On our morning beach walks we marvel at red, white and black mangrove trees. These guardians of the shore grow in estuaries where freshwater from the land mixes with saltwater from the ocean, creating brackish water. On a guided nature hike we learned that black mangrove trees exude the salt through their leaves and their trunks, literally sweating it out to maintain the right balance to thrive. These fascinating trees not only protect the shores from storms, they also cradle the nursery of the seas. The brackish water in which the mangrove trees grow, gives fish and shellfish strong starts in a protective ecosystem.

We saw a Gopher Tortoise, a land turtle protected from extinction by the State of FL for what he does. This guy digs down 6’, then makes a tunnel 30’ long and then the neighbors move in… numbering more than 350 other species! Talk about, "There goes the neighborhood!" We walked under The Great Blue Heron and Egrets flying overhead and the Black Skimmer scooping up fish as it skimmed the top of the water. We stood within 20 feet of dozens of huge Pelicans diving straight into the Gulf and popping up with a mouthful every time. All of this captivating, even breathtaking. I think of God’s particular concern for creation when I stand in the midst of it like this. In Matthew 10:29-31 we read, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”

Just as I was oohing and aahing, our conservancy guide pointed out beautiful orbweaver spiders creating massive silk webs. I wondered out loud, “Why in the world would God invest so much of Himself in things that few notice or appreciate?” I’d walked that same area earlier in the week and hadn’t picked up on the detail. I’ve thought about it a lot since. All of the creatures and pieces of creation we encountered on our walks is staying with me, even though I’m back home in my daily routines which do not include what I’ve just described. I have a renewed sense of how God is wooing us.

I’m being convinced this week through His provision and protection for lesser creatures that makes me trust His complete and total provision for me in what Christ accomplished on the Cross and then rising from the dead! My holiday at the shore has washed away some of life’s fears and replaced them with faith. And it only took a few spiders, a relic turtle and some dashing birds of the air to do it! What will it take for you to be further convinced that you can trust the Lord Who counts the hairs on your head and the sparrows that fall from the sky? Unlike the way political candidates try to convince us, God wants to convince us without forcing the issue. He reveals His glory in the everyday ways He comes to us. He doesn’t say, “Take it or leave it.” It’s not, “Believe it or not,” like with the candidates. It’s more taste and see that the Lord is good. Enjoy being convinced!

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