Standing in a Forest
Today my daughter was having a difficult day, so I took her for a walk in the woods near our apartment. When we were far enough into the woods, I held her close, stopped moving, and waited until she had calmed down. Then I stood in the woods for about 20 minutes, trying to be as still as I could in hopes that she would fall asleep.
On one level my walk was unsuccessful, since she did not go to sleep. But on another level, my walk was a great success because I got to stand in the woods for 20 minutes. I had nothing to do except enjoy the quiet and observe the rhythm of the woods. I watched as the sun moved across the sky and the dappled sunlight slowly shifted through the forest. I listened to the occasional thud of pinecones falling to the ground. I watched several turkey vultures wheel silently through the sky.
I thought about how much goes on in that forest each day, and how few people ever see it. I’m sure it’s rare for anyone to stand in that spot and simply enjoy the forest, so most of the forest’s life goes unappreciated. Yet as I stood there, I was thankful that all the life in that forest—the trees, the pinecones, and even the turkey vultures—all of it is held in God’s care. Even if we don’t take the time to appreciate the beauty in that forest, God still knows it, loves it, and cares for it.
Jesus tells us that not even the birds die with God knowing and caring about them. He goes on to remind us that we are of more value than many birds (Matthew 10:29-31). Wherever you are today, whatever you are doing, and in whatever situation you find yourself, take heart—God cares for you and enfolds you in his love.