Have you ever needed to cover yourself up in a blanket and simply enjoy the warmth of being “underneath” the covers? Right now, our ground is partially covered by snow. What is happening under the cover of snow is truly remarkable. This is the exciting part - what is happening under the snow. Our earth is producing flowers and new life – under the cover of the snow. It is a beautiful process, one that I am in awe of. Even though it is cold and barren looking, new life is being birthed – right under our feet!
Isn’t that how God works in our lives? We might not see the new growth, but there it is – in the midst of being covered over by pain, or doubts, and disappointments – spiritual growth. God is doing amazing things in our lives of faith, but we are too preoccupied with routine every day distractions. We overlook what is really happening in our hearts.
I’m convinced that God teaches us everything that we need to understand our spiritual lives. God does this through nature. If we open our hearts to discern his messages, we will grow spiritually. One of the ways we can do this is simply going outside and looking around. Pray as you walk. Look at things you normally ignore – the spider web in the tree, the squirrel jumping from branch to branch, the daffodils pushing through the cold earth. Pray about the lessons God can teach you in these moments. Literally, “go undercover” in nature and find out what God has in store for you! For example, the spider web can teach us persistence. No matter how often it gets knocked down, that spider returns to build a new web. The squirrel can show us how we are creatures of habit. Squirrels try to maintain their “routes” and routines – no matter what obstacles lay in their path. The daffodils remind us that in death, there is resurrection.
Prayer doesn’t have to be boring. Prayer can teach us a lot. So look around – observe, apply the lessons, and see God working in your life. What have you learned by praying in this way?
Rev. Bev Hall, pastor of Pleasant Hills United Methodist Church, Middleburg Heights, OH