Obviously, I love to do landscape photography! I love to be out in the field shooting this awesome and beautiful place we call earth! One of the satisfying things about this is having the opportunity to share the moment with others. I am in awe of the diversity and beauty of different landscapes around our city, state and our country. As I am entrenched in an inspiring scenic area, I often am reminded that this beauty I am seeing was created by the Master of All Artists, God! I am so excited when I am able to capture a small part of His creation in a simple photograph. However, I fall short of doing Him justice in capturing the magnificent beauty of His creation!
There are various reminders in scenic landscapes and nature, itself, that can remind us of God and His love for us. Consider butterflies. Just think of how a butterfly starts out as a caterpillar. It cannot fly, it crawls around, and is often less than attractive. Then it undergoes a metamorphosis, a complete change, and becomes this beautiful butterfly. This is a great reminder of how God transforms us. He takes us when we are broken and helpless and transforms us into a new life with a hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 - "For I know the plans I have for you" - this is the Lord's declaration - "plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future, and a hope. You will call to Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you."
Rainbows. Rainbows are such a magnificent reminder of His love as well. They are hard to miss. He stretches them across the sky like the ultimate of all billboards, advertising His presence in our lives and His promises to us! Sometimes He even sends two, saying "Love you double!" I feel that rainbows can also remind us how He takes us through the storms in our life, and on the other side of the storm is a beautiful ending, or new beginning! The rainbow, if we were able to see it in its entirety, is a circle. So, the next time you see a rainbow, let yourself be reminded of His love encircling you and promising you that He is with you!
Genesis 9:12-15 - "Here is the sign of the covenant I am making (for all time). I have put my rainbow in the clouds. It will be the sign of the covenant between Me and all of the earth. Sometimes when I bring clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in them. Then I will remember my covenant between Me and you and every kind of living thing. The waters will never become a flood to destroy all life again."
How about just rocks? Simple smooth rounded rocks? I love mountain streams. Not only photographing a mountain stream and reflections within it, but I like to wade in one too! There is something so refreshing about having that cool, often very cold, mountain water running over your feet and ankles. The next time you are by a stream, look down in the clear water and notice the small smooth stones. They are so beautiful wet with the stream water. It really brings out many different colors.
These smooth stones offer a couple of reminders from above for me. First of all, if you think of the water in the mountain stream as God's love, grace and mercy, it washes us clean and makes us beautiful. It brings out our best colors! I often wonder if these stones started out rough and jagged, but became smooth over time as the water reshaped them and made them new, just as over time God can take our rough edges and make us new.
The more obvious symbolism of the smooth stones is the story of David and Goliath. God achieved what many thought was impossible through David. This boy, David, killed the 9 foot tall giant, Goliath with a slingshot and a stone, a feat many thought to be impossible! What obstacle in your life seems impossible? Just think how God used David and one of these five smooth stones to achieve the impossible and take encouragement from that!
1 Samuel 17:40, 49-50. David went out to a stream and picked up five smooth stones and put them in his leather bag. Then, with his sling in hand, he went straight toward Goliath...He put a stone in his sling and swung the sling around by its straps. When he let go of one strap, the stone flew out and hit Goliath on the forehead. It cracked his skull, and he fell facedown on the ground. David defeated Goliath with a sling and a stone. He killed him without even using a sword.
I like to find a small stone to bring back with me. When I find it later, I am reminded of the enjoyment I had in the mountain stream and these reminders from above! So, the next time you are out enjoying God's creation, look for the butterflies, the rainbows and the smooth stones and be reminded of how God can change you, His promises to you, and how He can do the impossible through you!
What other reminders from above do you see in nature? Maybe a sand dollar or a dogwood tree? The symbolism associated with those is so wonderful! What else? Leave comments below about symbols in nature that remind you of our Creator!
Until next time...Happy Shooting!