Echoes From the Campfire

Look to the hills.  They are quiet.  The storms sweep over them and are gone, and most of man’s troubles pass the same way.  Whenever you feel that things are getting too much for you, go to the mountains or the desert—it smooths out the wrinkles in your mind.”
              –Louis L’Amour  (Brionne)

    “In that day the mountains will drip with sweet wine, and the hills will flow with milk. Water will fill the streambeds of Judah, and a fountain will burst forth from the Lord’s Temple, watering the arid valley of acacias.”
              –Joel 3:18 (NLT)
There is just something about being out in God’s Great Cathedral.  I know some refer to it as “Mother Nature,” but I never have.  It is the work of the word of God.  He speaks and the mountains were created.  He speaks and the sea began to roar.  He speaks and there is life.
    There can be a danger in nature.  No, I am not speaking of animals or pitfalls or obstacles.  Throughout time men have become so caught up in nature that they have begun to worship it.  The ancients did it, and there are millions today, New Agers or if you prefer, Cosmic Humanists, that worship God.  Some worship the object, some are pantheists.
    However, God uses nature to refresh our souls or to build our character or to find Him.  Moses spent years and years in the wilderness.  Jesus, after His baptism, was sent to the desert regions.  Spending several days along a high country mountain stream can bring refreshing; others like to be on a beach, alone and away from people.  God revives, God speaks, God show us who we are and Who He is.
    Look now at the second portion of Psalm 42.  When we ask or are asked, “Where is your God?”  Perhaps that is a sign that we should go to nature to spend some time with Him.

    6 – I am deeply depressed; therefore I remember You from the land of Jordan and the peaks of Hermon, from Mount Mizar.
    7 – Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls; all Your breakers and Your billows have swept over me.
    8 – The Lord will send His faithful love by day; His song will be with me in the night—a prayer to the God of my life.
    9 – I will say to God, my rock, “Why have You forgotten me?  Why must I go about in sorrow because of the enemy’s oppression?”
   10 – My adversaries taunt me, as if crushing my bones, while all day long they say to me, “Where is your God?”
   11 – Why am I so depressed?  Why this turmoil within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will still praise Him, my Savior and my God. (HCSB)

    Notice, verse 5 from last week’s study is the same as verse 11.  When the soul is distressed, when there are questions in life that is the time to remember to go to God and offer His praise.  It is not the mountain, or the canyons, or the waves of the sea breaking that will bring you out of your distress.  Your relief comes when you think of the greatness of the One who created the majesty that is seen in nature.  We should let the wonders of creation bring us back to God.  We need to get to Him, place our trust in Him, and then we will be more ready and able to face our trouble.
    One of my favorite quotations is the one I used above.  When in doubt, when faced with problems go to nature–it “will smooth out the wrinkles in your mind.”  You may not be able to get out, you may just have to sit on the back deck, or the patio, but get in touch and in tune with God.  That begins by praising Him.

           “Why restless, why cast down, my soul?
            Trust God, and thou shalt sing
            His praise again, and find him still
            Thy health’s eternal spring.”
                   –Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady