Spring is well on its way; and that means these little frogs, spring peepers, will be coming out hibernation and calling for mates. This is Mr. Nature: and for this safari, some of you will only have to walk out to your back yards.
My brother, Mark, and my editor, Susan, are privileged to live in neighborhoods where peepers abound. One or the other will phone me, from time to time, so that I can hear the peepers, too.
The march of the seasons, the calling of the peepers, the tulip bulbs by our door putting out shoots–all part of God’s stuff, and it all works just fine. All the time.
P.S.–For those of you who collect crepuscularities, Chef John (“Food Wishes”) perpetrated one today: “My wanton use of egg glue cause my wontons to fall apart.” You can catch him on Youtube–one of Patty’s favorite cooking channels.
Yes, it’s still cold out, it could still snow, and Patty’s garden looks like something left over from the Day of Fire–but Spring is on its way.
Yesterday we had robins, this morning they were singing, and just now I spotted the first little shoots of daffodils coming up from the ground. God has not forgotten His promise to keep the seasons coming.
Warm weather–well, sort of warm: less cold–means that soon I can start writing another book, as soon as the Lord gives me a starting-place. I can hardly wait to see what that first image will be; and I have no idea at all where the story will take me next. I do love those surprises.
Anyway, before you know it, we’ll be seeing baby squirrels coming out of their nests, little green shoots popping up all over, and snowdrop flowers on the front lawn.
I was talking to Susan on the phone this morning, and she told me, “Spring is on the way–the frogs are calling.”
The wood frog, with its characteristic black raccoon-mask, is almost always the first critter to come out of hibernation. These little guys can really take the cold: you can even find them in Alaska. Sometimes they can almost freeze solid during hibernation–but not quite. As long as they don’t die, they’ll thaw out all right. They want to be ready for when God gives them their cue to come onstage.
God’s stuff: world without end, Amen. And this is Mr. Nature, signing off.
The image above is an icon of Christ Pantokrator, “Christ the Ruler of All.”
Some of us, myself included, are dismayed by the moral and spiritual disease afflicting our country and the world. But we mustn’t give in to despair, and we mustn’t be surprised. Wars, crime, tyrants, heresies, and outright folly–these are the products of the human heart, which Jeremiah described as desperately wicked (Jer. 17:9). We, the human race, are sinners; and sinners sin.
Surveying the news, we can hardly help believing we have entered the End Times, the last days. But there have been worse times than these. World War II was one of them. We are preyed upon by wicked and ungodly persons; but the villains we confront are pretty small potatoes compared to the Hermann Goering Division, or the Imperial Japanese Navy. And didn’t we just defeat the villains in a national election? I mean, we’re talking about people who go running for the Play-Doh because their party lost. We ought to be ashamed to be afraid of them.
Our world is the way it is because of our free will, abused on a massive scale.
Where I live, it’s been terribly cold all weekend, with high winds–most unpleasant. But when I went outside this morning, I saw green shoots coming up all over.
These tell us, in a soft and sometimes nearly inaudible voice, that God is nigh. With infinite patience, knowing that to break our free will would be to damage us beyond repair, God is working all the time to restore and renovate His whole Creation, which He will place under the absolute kingship of Jesus Christ, His Son. We know that this end is a certainly because the Lord has said so.
God’s chess game, and the moves He makes in it, are too deep for any human being to fathom. Most of them, we don’t even see. Nevertheless, He moves. And we must have faith in the eventual and inevitable outcome of the game. It will end in evil being checkmated and cast out of God’s Creation forever: for the Lord has said so.
It’s our job to keep listening for God’s voice, to do our work conscientiously, as good servants who don’t know when their Lord will come home, but who do know that He will come home, and who will want Him to find them at their posts when He does.
These tiny little frogs–I just love them!–are the first frogs to come out of hibernation in the winter, and in some places they come out hundreds at a time, and if you’re anywhere nearby, you’ll hear them peeping for all they’re worth to attract mates.
Next, but not just yet, will be the wood frogs; but for the time being, any un-frozen bodies of water belong to the peepers. It’s only mid-February, but my editor in Virginia tells me the peepers in her neighborhood are already tuning up and will soon be in full concert mode.
I love the four seasons God has given us, with their characteristic sights and sounds: a living world, life everywhere you look. And God saw everything that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
And just imagine what it’ll be like when He regenerates and restores His whole Creation.