Without Exception

I was walking across our back yard the other day, our outdoor cats weaving around my ankles, when I stopped in my tracks. (The cats were very confused.) Out of nowhere, I was powerfully struck by what I saw happening around me in nature. It’s happened many times before, certainly: noticing cloud shapes and sunsets and sunrise colors, usually. (My husband says I’m always looking up, and he doesn’t mean that I have a persistently optimistic attitude. He means I am *physically* always looking up; my phone is jammed with cloud and sky pictures.) The other morning, though, I was struck by God’s creativity at work in the myriad of summer colors still bursting forth. The calendar says it’s technically still spring (for a few more days, at least) but the weather has screamed “summer” for weeks already. Even so, spring’s daily emergence of new life and fresh color continues. The flowers…all of them different, and all of them proclaiming the goodness of the God who created them.

It’s extraordinary, really, that the dead of winter can suddenly burst into an explosion of life. Brown is replaced by every conceivable color, and everywhere I look I see reminders that God is never finished. He is always working, even when all evidence is to the contrary. He draws life and hope from things and places that appear to be dead and hopeless.

It’s just what He does, and He does it in ways we would never expect. Sometimes best of all, He does it when we’ve stopped expecting it at all. We expect flowers to bloom in spring. We expect to see signs of new life in spring. Come summer, though, we don’t expect it any more. We stop watching for it…but God doesn’t stop doing it. He keeps going. He keeps working.

It’s what He does. It’s who He is.

This God of ours….He delights in surprising us. In lavishing extravagance on us in ways we wouldn’t expect. He could remind us of the persistence of hope – herald spring’s arrival – by making everything green. Grass and leaves and flowers, too. He could make all flowers look the same. No variation. No rainbow of colors. Green itself would be a miraculous transformation from winter’s colorless palette, after all. He could leave it at that.

But He doesn’t. Oh, He doesn’t.

A quick internet search tells me there are thousands upon thousands upon thousands of varieties of flowers in this beautiful world, each of them lovingly sculpted by the hand of God. Each of them serving as a reminder that nothing is ever quite as it seems. Nothing is hopeless. Nothing is over.

Hundreds of varieties of jasmine…over a hundred kinds of lilies…thousands of varieties of roses.

Looking at the flowers, I see one big picture of God’s creativity. One continual reminder of His unceasing desire to make things new. One persistent nudge pointing to His ability to bring life and hope to every situation, without exception.

How great thou art, indeed. How great He is.

From dark, damp earth He raises the sweet colors of the rainbow.

From a dark, musty tomb He raises the dead to brand new life.

And from the darkest, most hopeless places in your life, He shines light and hope and raises a world of possibilities. In places we see death, He sees an opportunity for a fresh start.

These things remain known only to Him until they emerge into our awareness. For years, I never gave the little buds and blooms of spring and summer more than a passing glance. They were there – I saw them – but I never recognized what God was showing me. Miracles. Life. Hope. Light.

And friend, He’s working miracles in your situation, too. Maybe you’ve seen them and not given them much attention. Maybe you’ve overlooked them completely. Oh, but friend…they’re there. He’s doing it. Right under your nose, in gloriously unexpected ways, without exception.

Looking up with you,


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