Bluebonnets, Indian Paintbrush, Indian Blankets…so vivid and lush in the Texas Hill Country this past week. The peak of wildflower season here…we decided to venture there for a few days. It was beautiful.
God’s Glory shone all around us wherever we drove. Winding Farm-to-Market roads, County Roads, and two-lane Texas Highways. Flowers everywhere. BUT…photographs of these flowers do not give the real carpet-effect on this screen. Each stem stands about 6-8 inches high…some clumped together…some spread apart. The colors are so much brighter in person. You know what I am saying!
A voice says, “Cry!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”
All flesh is grass,
and all its beauty is like the flower of the field.
The grass withers, the flower fades
when the breath of the Lord blows on it;
surely the people are grass.
The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:6-8
Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:22-25
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear Him.
For He knows our frame;
He remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass;
he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone,
and its place knows it no more.
But the steadfast love of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him,
and His righteousness to children’s children,
to those who keep His covenant
and remember to do His commandments.
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens,
and His kingdom rules over all. Psalm 103:13-19
YES…these beautiful flowers were at their peak while we were there, but they will fade. The season is now to see them at their best. The beauty…clearly there. God created these amazing flowers. He created us…you and me. We, too, will fade in these physical bodies, but if we are born again in Christ Jesus, we are of imperishable seed . We will meet the Lord in Heaven one day. These Scriptures tell us that God’s Word does not fade, nor does His love.
Father God, You are my All. You are my Creator and the Love of my life. You made these beautiful flowers for my eyes to behold. The colors and the fragrances remind me that You are near. Father, thank You for allowing us to get away for a few days in order to see the splendor of Your natural world. We enjoyed it so. You show us Yourself as we journeyed along the winding roadways of the Hill Country. Oh, Father, You are truly Glorious. You remind me that I am dust and am fading as I age, but You sent Your Son Who took my sins away. I have been reborn with imperishable seed and will live in eternity with You. Oh, Father, what a gift! These little flowers remind me of the awesome sacrifice You made for me. Truly, I pray, in the Name of Christ Jesus. Amen.
For a brief history of Mrs. Lady Bird Johnson’s beautification desires for the nation as well as Texas:
“Decades ago, Mrs. (Lady Bird) Johnson recognized that our country was losing its natural landscapes and its natural beauty. As much as 30 percent of the world’s native flora is at risk of extinction.”
“Getting on the subject of beautification is like picking up a tangled skein of wool,” she wrote in her diary on January 27, 1965. “All the threads are interwoven — recreation and pollution and mental health, and the crime rate, and rapid transit, and highway beautification, and the war on poverty, and parks — national, state and local. It is hard to hitch the conversation into one straight line, because everything leads to something else.”
Mrs. Johnson wanted to beautify the nation’s capital during her time as First Lady. She and others did so much to make Washington, D.C., a capital city to be proud of as they filled the Mall, parks, and streets with flowers and new landscaping, refurbished run-down neighborhoods, and so much more. She told the Society for a More Beautiful National Capital, “Over the past three years, the people in this room have produced nearly two and a half million dollars to take steps toward making this nation’s capital more livable and more beautiful. Not only is your handiwork enjoyed by the three million people who live and work in this city, it can be seen also by seventeen million visitors who come here each year, and our work has inspired other cities across the country.”
She played a large part in getting the Highway Beautification Act of 1965 into and through Congress, although she would have liked it better if it had passed without so many amendments. It called for control of outdoor advertising along the nation’s Interstate Highway System and other federal primary highway systems. It also required certain junkyards along Interstate or primary highways to be removed or screened and encouraged scenic enhancement and roadside development.
From the time Mrs. Johnson left the White House until she died in 2007, Mrs. Johnson never stopped desiring to beautify this country. Mrs. Johnson and “actress Helen Hayes founded an organization in 1982 to protect and preserve North America’s native plants and natural landscapes. First as the National Wildflower Research Center and later as the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, this special place exists to introduce people to the beauty and diversity of wildflowers and other native plants.”
Mrs. Johnson (and the Wildflower Center) encouraged the planting of seeds along roadways. Many Texas highways and byways share the fruit of this labor in bright and brilliant color each Spring!