When our family lived in Washington State, just a ferry’s ride away from Seattle, we had to get used to overcast, gloomy days and a misting rain that seemed like it lasted ten months out of the year. That constant precipitation gave way to some of the most lush-green forests and landscapes that I’d seen at any of the duty stations where we resided during my husband’s military career.
In addition to enjoying the brilliant shades of green that surrounded me there, this south Georgia girl from a hometown with barely any hills and no peaks whatsoever loved seeing the mountains in the distance, some that even kept snow atop the crests year-round.
One spot on the military installation afforded a perfect view of a faraway mountain. Each time I braked for the stop sign and looked left for oncoming cars, I’d exclaim as if seeing it for the first time, “Look at the mountain!”
Sometimes, days passed between my mountain observations because Mt. Rainier was hidden from view by fog or clouds or the gloom of winter.
Just as I knew without a doubt that Mt. Rainier stood resolute to my left at the stop sign—even when clouds obstructed my view of the mountain peak—I know today, in 2021, that my God remains firm and in control of everything that surrounds me.
In this new calendar year, seasons will change around me; pandemics, illnesses, and tragedies may abound; people might disappoint me, but my God will never change. He never leaves me nor forsakes me. When the difficulties of the world cloud my vision of Him, I can trust that His promises remain, and He shelters me in the shadow of His wings.
While you may not have a mountain view from the back porch or just down the street, why not pick some of God’s creations to monitor throughout the year to remind you of His goodness and presence?
And if you are blessed with a mountain peak view, use your admiration of God’s creativity each time you pass by the crests and speak aloud these verses to your kids or to yourself:
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.
Before the mountains were born or you gave birth to the earth and the world,
even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
“For the mountains may be removed and the hills may shake,
but My lovingkindness will not be removed from you,
and My covenant of peace will not be shaken,” says the Lord who has compassion on you.
If your morning trek takes you past one of God’s beautiful oceans or spectacular lakes and rivers, review these verses with each view:
But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst;
but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.
The sea is His, for it was He who made it, and His hands formed the dry land.
If there is a particularly striking tree in the neighborhood or back yard (preferably a hardwood), make a conscious effort to notice the tree often and watch for the beauty of the four seasons, giving thanks for God’s creativity and magnificence with these verses:
But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who is wise wins souls.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season
and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
In a brand new year filled with hope—as well as uncertainty—choose to trust Jesus, the same yesterday and today and throughout all of 2021 and forever.
Let the Heavenly Father’s creations be a reminder that God’s got this, even when the clouds of life roll in.
A red maple grows tall in my back yard, near a small stream, and it’s visible from my favorite den rocking chair. I’ll keep my eye on it more deliberately this year, to enjoy the beauty God paints each season and to remind me that if He cares for that red maple, He cares for me, too!
Share one of God’s visible creations you’ll use regularly to remind you of His faithfulness.
8 thoughts on “Surround Us, O Lord, in 2021”
Julie, your post offers a beautiful view of God’s creation and the reminder that He indeed surrounds us and protects us. Thank you for the encouragement to see nature’s phenomena as signs of God’s work in our world. From my kitchen view, our huge Bradford pear tree encourages me to praise God and trust Him.
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Oh, my goodness, Bradford pear trees offer some of the most stunning views every season! I love Bradford pears trees in the fall and spring, especially! Thank you for your sweet words, Jeannie! YOU are such an encourager to me!!!
Oh Amen Ms. Julie. I love how God sends me words from friends, just when I need them. He led me to Psalm 119:114 earlier this morning during my God time. I now understand why. 🙂 God’s blessings gentle friend. And yes, Ft. Lewis shares some beautiful sights. Did you get to enjoy mushroom hunting up there? They were certainly plentiful.
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Amen right back atcha, J.D. His word truly is THE ONLY thing we can put our hope in, always, but especially during trying times and days (and weeks and months, lately). Thank you for reading and the comment!
You know, I can’t remember if we took part in mushroom hunting. We were stationed at Naval Submarine Base Bangor, and what I do remember is that at the pier on the Hood Canal that we accessed on base, we fished for, and caught, Salmon and Cutthroat Trout. We also crabbed for Red Rock and Dungeness Crabs. And we harvested oysters and had fun digging clams on low tides. We loved the great outdoor activities afforded us there, but, my hubby, the one you fondly call “Bug Man,” because he loves the outdoors so much, he had a hard time with not much sunshine!!! But God’s beauty was evident everywhere around us!!
Thank you, Julie, for the beautiful reminder of God’s power and the hope we have in him!
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Thank you, Shelley, for reading and commenting! I’m so glad we serve a powerful God and the hope in Him is what gets me through each day, good days and challenging ones, too! Blessings.
Thank you Julie! I am one that often needs prodding to get into nature, but I am rarely disappointed by God’s marvelous creation. Thank you for reminding me of how refreshing the beauty of His creation, and the beautiful way it always points back to Him.
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Sylvia, I wasn’t as keen on getting outdoors when I was younger, but marrying my outdoors-loving, biology-majoring husband gave me a deeper appreciation for God’s creativity and masterpieces! And, I do love that it always reminds me God and His magnificent glory, too!!! Thanks for reading!