Devotional: Let us not forget God’s goodness

Published 9:15 am Saturday, April 22, 2023

DevotionalTell me if you see these flowers blooming on High Street. This is a shot I got last year when I heard that these glorious yellow azaleas were in bloom. I found them to be spectacular, and I hope you do as well. Maybe you have noticed that the azaleas are starting to pop in the spring order of gorgeousness. That’s what I wanted to talk about today.

I have a history of sharing pictures that I find around me. There is so much goodness in the beauty of creation that is easy to bypass in the hustle and bustle. What began as a discipline of posting things on our church Facebook page has become a deeper appreciation of God’s glory all around us. Zeroing in on flowers, especially getting close up and personal, has opened my eyes and heart to just how fantastic the very small can be. Even the wildflowers, especially the wildflowers with their ubiquitous colors and patterns, call us to pay attention if we can stop long enough to peek and ponder.

Psalm 8 speaks to this foundational, ever-present glory that is there even in the mouths of babes and infants. While the cooing and laughing of little people is enough to soften most hearts, babies are not necessarily known for their impressive speech or singing. Nevertheless, God’s glory abounds in these gifts of grace. Of course, Matthew 6 even more so reminds us of the precious and beautiful nature of nature with precious birds and gorgeous flowers. It is always a good time to stop and gaze deeply into the details of God’s creation that will amaze.

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This week I am in Guatemala on a mission trip, and this lesson is hitting home in a big way. In such a different place, can I see past the strangeness and unfamiliarity to find those little glimpses of beauty? Can I see Jesus in the face of people with whom I struggle to even communicate? Where is the glory of God when I am far from home and the comforts of our culture?

My guess is that God’s beauty will be abundantly clear, though it may look different than around here. I will be surrounded by poverty and hardship but also a dignity to life that drew Jesus’ heart. Every day, I plan to stop to see God’s glory growing wherever I may find it, and I will have my camera, too.

Let us never forget just how abundant God’s goodness, God’s richness, and God’s glory is placed all around us, if we will but stop and notice. Blessings to you, sisters and brothers.

REV. DR. PETER SMITH is the pastor for Farmville Presbyterian Church. He can be reached at