When you live in the Midwest, and it’s winter time, it’s not always easy to appreciate God’s creation.   Cloudy days, dead trees, brown grass, and cold temperatures aren’t the greatest.  Yet somehow, the ugly winter brings such wonderful feeling and emotion once spring finally rolls around.  For me, this time of year is so amazing because I know the weather is changing, and baseball is coming.   It really makes me wonder though:  If I lived in a warm climate year round, would I actually be THIS excited about spring and baseball season?   Probably not.

I use this analogy to remind us:  good times usually happen when you’ve endured bad times.  I’m not sure a job promotion would mean as much to those who didn’t work hard to get there.  I’m not sure we would even enjoy sunny days if it wasn’t for rainy days.  I’m not sure a person would be completely whole and satisfied with whom they choose to marry if it wasn’t for all the tough times and broken relationships that led up to it.

I just heard this quote recently:   “Ask a runner how he got so fast, and he’ll tell you he suffered.   Ask a fighter how he got so strong, and he’ll tell you he suffered.    The heroes in my life didn’t run away from the pain.  They used it.  It cleansed them.”

We should use our pain to fuel our future.

Even though it’s not always easy to see God’s creation…. sometimes it’s simply because we don’t allow ourselves to be aware of it.   We often think of the big things:  the Grand Canyon, Niagra Falls, the stars in the sky, mountains, the ocean, etc.  when we think about God’s beautiful creation.   But it’s also in the little things in life that we can truly see and appreciate God’s work.   Nobody has ever had your story.  Nobody has ever had the same fingerprint as you.  Nobody cries or laughs exactly like you.  God’s ultimate creation, is us.   Some people say the reason they don’t believe in God is because of how big the universe is, and how small the earth is compared to everything else.   But for me, that shows how much God loves us.  He’s created a massive universe, and he’s put us at the center of it.   It’s like He has said, “I’ve made all of this so you will know how big I AM, and how much I value my children.”

This time of year….  I’m more aware of God’s creation.   I’m aware of how the life of Jesus has given me new life, even after I’ve fallen hard.  As Easter approaches… let us be reminded:   you won’t find my God in the tomb any longer.  The grave is empty.  And that same God who conquered death and freed me from the pits of hell, is the same God who wants us to know..  His ultimate creation is us, and He wants us to turn others back to Him.