When God Says to Shout it on the Rooftops, or Maybe the Treetops
By: Gramma Sue
Dani taught me this weekend that God has a cure, in every leaf, stem, and piece of land, water, and sky. Healing, the Bible says, comes from the fruit, leaves, and roots of trees.
Dani teaches me so much more than I teach her. This past weekend Dani demonstrated the value of shouting out your mess from the treetops. Somehow as you let the mess out of the mental burial grounds it begins to turn into a message. Loud and clear.
Sometimes we carry our grief too deep. It gets tangled in our muscles and tendons and causes our bodies to ache, even to scream. When you give it a voice, it begins to let go of the pain centers. Grief can become anger if not released. Or it can fester into cancer or auto-immune diseases.
Maybe God wants us to shout it out from a treetop or to quietly sit by still waters and allow Him to nourish our soul.
Sometimes we're so busy talking, going, or doing things we forget that God's still, small voice is present all the time to guide us. He wants to give us God-encounters all day and night long. In nature, there are signs of His presence everywhere, if we stop to look.
Here Grandpa noticed signs of a beaver pulling brush across the sand and had Danielle examine the ground to figure out the story of what happened along the river bank.
Next, nature showed us a horse's skeleton only a few feet from the river bank. One of Dani's worst fears is finding a dead body in the woods, and not only did we find one, but two!
This dead beaver was bloated, covered in maggots, and the stench was quite ripe as we paddled by! It gave Dani the opportunity to face her fear, to ask questions about the process of death, and to understand that death is part of the natural order of life and not to be feared.
Nature is the best healer, because God created everything and everyone we meet. He knows each beaver, horse, and even every flea! He made the grasses, the trees, and every creature that lives in the woods.
Healing comes through being intentional when we're out in Nature. We need to be active, not passive, by listening, observing, and looking deeply into creation.
Here at this beaver slide, Grandpa stopped the canoe so we could examine the sedge grass. We touched the prickly blades and examined the triangular structure at the root that is part of the uniqueness of sedge grass. Sedge grass thrives near water, like the Tongue River.
Nature is meant to be God's sign posts! Psalm 19 says:
19 The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. 2 Day and night they keep on telling about God. 3-4 Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world.
Beavers thrive along the Tongue River and everywhere is evidence of their residence, like this old beaver lodge we stopped to take a look at… but you know, except for the dead beaver we didn't see any beavers!
God is like that, too… everywhere there is evidence of his presence, but you have to stop to look and listen. I don't think He's afraid of us, like the beavers, but I think He likes us to be curious, to be hungry and thirsty to know Him 0 enough to pursue Him.
Dani had been longing for a time to shout out her mess to God in nature and to find a message come back to her. I'm sure she'll have more to share in upcoming posts, but as for me, I thought it was pretty nice of God to show up on the Tongue River, even in the dead bodies we encountered.
Because there's truly nothing to be afraid of, not even death. Vultures screeched through the treetops, and even they had a message to bring… that God cleans up messes that even Death brings.
Messes are no fun, but finding the message in the mess is. No matter what happens in this world to cause chaos, unrest, grief, and even panic, God shows us through His creation that He's got us covered. He's made provision for us, no matter what comes our way.
Grandpa taught Dani how to read the river… how to avoid submerged rocks and stumps, how to navigate around sandbars, and he named all the creatures we saw: Killdeer, Great Blue Heron, Bald Eagle, and more. He showed us how to tell the distinguishing characteristic of sedge grass with it's triangular stem and sticky blade.
But only God can teach us the real message in all these wonderful things… and His message is always about Love. A love so big and wide, deep and high, that we'll never be lost or forgotten. A love so accepting and passionate that nothing and no one can separate us from His embrace.
Nature takes our pain and gives us comfort and rest. Maybe more people just need to paddle a slow canoe down a river, or hike up a mountain, or simply sit in the grass. Just one blade of grass or an old, gnarly tree limb can speak volumes of God's love. And love overcomes all evil.
Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing. – Ezekiel 47:12
Everything we see in our natural world is a mirror image of the heavenly world. How glad I am there is a River of God that makes His people glad!
A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. – Psalm 46:4
His river is full of life and it carries away our sadness, grief, and pain. It turns everything bad into something good.
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. – Romans 8:28
These promises are better than all the gold and silver in the world. The best things in life are free. Nature is truly the best healer of our souls. (Psalm 23)