Stop, Look and Listen

 
In the midst of hectic business days, mind-numbing meetings and stressful projects, it’s good, even necessary, for our mental, physical and spiritual health to take a moment once in a while to “stop, look and listen”.  

The Lord reminded me of this as I was driving into work one morning and was unexpectedly greeted by the most brilliantly colorful, spectacular sunrise I had ever seen. I was awestruck by its beauty and, with great pause, I slowly spoke the words of a phrase that my husband often says in similar situations . . .  “Will you . . . . look . . . . at . . . . that?!”

Have you ever crested the top of a hill
where a spectacular view awaits ~
a brilliant sunrise
or other splendid surprise ~
so incredible, it takes your breath away?

One of those unexpected moments
when you’re driving along as you do,
expecting nothing more
than to see what you’ve seen before,
and the Creator suddenly steps in front of you?

As if to say, “Hello, there!  Here I am, dear child!
I painted this right before you crested the hill;
a perfect painting . . . perfect timing . . .
I knew that you were coming!”
And be reminded, child, it won’t be long until

you’re moving right along in the normalcy of your day,
expecting to see the things you’ve always seen,
when you crest that moment in time ~
the hour the Father will decide ~
and the Beauty you encounter will be Me.

God longs for you to know that He loves you, and one way He shows that is through His magnificent creation. In the rush of the day, the frenzy of solving problems and worldly pressures, if we would just take a moment to stop, look and listen, we can see His fingerprints everywhere, be refreshed by it, and our hearts can’t help but be stirred to offer a moment of praise to our Creator.

Since the weather has gotten cooler, I’ve started sleeping with our bedroom window open again and I so enjoy it!  The fresh air and chilly temperatures always help me to sleep so much better!  The open window also provided me with another lesson from the Lord when early this morning before the alarm even rang, I was awakened by the sound of hundreds of singing birds . . .

A glimmer of dawn appears on the horizon
as if a wand the Maestro raises to begin
a symphony of praise,
announcing the birth of a new day,
as birds throughout the land begin to sing
songs no man has ever thought to vocalize or compose,
as thousands of birds sing thousands of melodies
that blend and flow in unity
to create a heavenly harmony,
awakening man again to His new mercies,
and as His hand spins slowly the earth around and round,
the glimmer of dawn continues o’er and o’er,
across the globe continually
the chorus of nature sings and sings
songs of praise to God, King and Creator.

Psalm 71:8 says: “Just as each day brims with your beauty, my mouth brims with praise.”

How often do we not realize that the simple pleasures in life were created and placed in our lives to glorify God? Think about it. Everything you see and hear is a product of God’s wonderful creative hand. Everything we touch can somehow be traced to the Creator of the universe. Too often in life we fly along at warp speed, rushing through life so quickly that we don’t take time to notice the beauty around us.  Moving through life with blinders on, trying to complete our many tasks, we don’t think about creation or its Creator, let alone just sit back and enjoy it.

Children seem to understand this on a completely different level than adults do. Have you ever seen a child admiring the beauty of butterfly? They are enthralled by its beauty and grace. Have you ever seen a child hold a dandelion and rave about how pretty it is? As adults we want to set that child straight and tell them that a dandelion is nothing more than a weed. Chances are that child will argue that we are wrong and it is a beautiful flower and if you pick enough of them, you will have the most beautiful bouquet of flowers. You know what? That child is right.

God’s beauty is as small as a tiny flower or as grand as mountains and icy glaciers, yet His signature is always there. It is waiting to be seen and appreciated and to speak to you in individual, God-designed ways.

In fact, very soon we will be surrounded by vivid colors unlike any ever found on a painter’s pallet.  The leaves are already starting to turn and soon will transform from hues of green to a spectacular blend of fiery yellows, oranges, reds, and magentas . . . all a breathtaking demonstration that there is no artist like our Father!  What the painter’s brush can only imitate, He has created!   His awesome paint palette amazes me daily! And He does it all — every single day for us!

And just think about all of the sounds — the melodies of creation — that our Maestro has written and directs!

Psalm 65:9-13 says:“The grasslands of the desert overflow; the hills are clothed with gladness. The meadows are covered with flocks and the valleys are mantled with grain; they shout for joy and sing.”

And Psalm 96:11-13:  “Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad, let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them. Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy; they will sing before the Lord.”

How can any sound that I make
ever equate
to the ones that you create, Lord?
Rolling thunder,
crashing waves,
rustling leaves,
a gentle rain;
powerful,
melodic,
some whisper,
some vibrate.
Every sound,
Your own design;
to each event,
specifically assigned.
I listen, amazed
by the mixture of praise
for my Creator . . .
and I wonder . . .
are the sounds
that come forth from me
as beautiful to You as these?
If I sing a little off key
do You pause to listen to me
(and then perhaps smile)?

Lord, may my praise for You
always be pleasing!

In a sin-sick world surrounded by pain, suffering and hardships, there is, simultaneously, a world of God’s beauty that He has given us to enjoy.  It’s good, even necessary, for our mental, physical and spiritual health to take a moment once in a while to “stop, look and listen” . . .  and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, to close our eyes and listen to the beautiful melodies of nature. . . all created by God to refresh us, give us pleasure and draw us closer to Him. 

So, as you go about your day, I encourage each of you to become more aware of your surroundings. Notice the beauty of the flowers in your garden, the birds as they sing to one another, the sunset, the moon and the stars that light the night.  God created each one of them for you.  And while you’re enjoying all that He has created for you, praise Him!  The One who knows each star in the heavens and every bird in the air . . . how much more He cares for you! 

The sun goes down
and with it the sound
that accompanies the day,
but I stand quietly
in the darkness
and the night sounds
begin to arise.
Crickets chirp and locusts sing,
a bat on the prowl, the flutter of wings;
the volume increases
and the cadence intensifies
as the hour grows later.
In the midst of the darkness,
creation still worships its Creator.
And in the midst of dark days,
this creation will worship her Creator.

Let’s pray.

Lord, thank you for your world that proclaims your glory. Help us to slow down and to take a moment to enjoy the beauty of your creation, the gifts you have given us, and to not take these things for granted. The beauty of your creation can lighten our hearts in the midst of the darkest of nights.  God, give us eyes to see, ears to hear, and stir our hearts to worship you as we gaze upon your beauty! We ask all of these things in the name of your Son, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

 — Cheri Henderson

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About Cheri Henderson

Cheri (Gale) Henderson, a resident of Waynesville, Ohio, acknowledged Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of her life on April 11, 1983. She became a new creation that day, old things passed away and all things became new, and now she lives to bring Him glory. She loves to worship her Savior and she also longs for all men to be saved. Much of her poetry is a reflection of her new heart. She began writing "Lyrics for the Lord" (http://cherihenderson.wordpress.com) the week after she dedicated her life to Christ, and is now a published writer in Billy Graham's "Decision" magazine, many other Christian magazines and periodicals around the world, and most recently, the book "Divine Stories of the Yahweh Sisterhood". Her prayer is that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, the words that flow from her pen will permeate the hearts of all who read them, and that lives will be changed forever for the glory of God! "Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit" (II Corinthians 2:17), therefore, you may use any of the poetry displayed herein freely and non-exclusively, for non-profit purposes only (and as long as the author credit remains intact), to perform, broadcast, display or print in complimentary newsletters, church bulletins or the like.
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2 Responses to Stop, Look and Listen

  1. Michelle says:

    Oh, that was so good. On Sunday, as I was trying to harness up Mia and the dogs to take over to Jess’. I told Mia ” Would you just be still, I’m trying to help you.” The Lord spoke to me at that moment and I thought, “Yep, that’s what you’re telling me, huh? A simple truth. Be Still and Know that I am God! Slow down and rest in me. I’m just glad that in that moment, I was able to listen. . . just for a second to what He was trying to teach me.

  2. Thank you, Michelle. Another good word! Love you!

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