Being a southern girl, I love the forest! Oh, how I love the forest! I was born, raised, and still live in the south, where the trees are so numerous, you have to clear the land of them before you build a house, or a road, or anything. Sometimes we Southerners take that for granted. We think it’s like that everywhere. But travel a little bit, and you’ll find out differently.
I love to go to the west, where you can see to the horizon in every direction. But after a while, I start missing the trees. The trees that gently wave as the breeze blows. The trees that give me a much needed respite from the summer heat. The trees that provide homes for my much loved backyard birds. The trees that turn a hundred different shades come autumn.
Here, at North Carolina’s Stone Mountain State Park, are hundreds (maybe thousands) of steps that take you into the forest. The bonus? A beautiful waterfall accompanies you down the mountain.
“Let the trees of the forest sing, let them sing for joy before the LORD, for He comes to judge the earth.” 1 Chronicles 16:33.
This verse is part of a hymn that David wrote for a very special occasion- the return of the Ark of the Covenant to a place of dignity and honor. It had been in an obscure place, collecting dust. But it was coming home! This was one of King David’s greatest desires and accomplishments. He could not rest until the Ark was in its rightful place. So he writes a song.
I can tell when my husband is super excited and happy about something. He will actually make up a song and sing about it. Well that’s what David did, and he must have loved the forest too. He must have spent time in the forest enough to know that the trees do sing, and he invites them to join in his jubilant song of praise to God! I love that. David is so excited about the Presence of God, that he just can’t contain his joy, and he wants everyone and all creation to get in on it.
I want that attitude and frame of mind – that there is nothing in this life that comes close to living in God’s Presence. Because there isn’t.