Almighty God, it is You who loves me. Out of the filthy world You have chosen me! So I have come before You, yes, I have come before You, living a life of the church, enjoying Your words every day.
Charming Four Seasons in the Mountains
By Xia Yuxin, Italy
I was born in a village at the foot of a mountain in China. The mountains and rivers in my hometown are often enshrouded in mist. In the mountains, there are various kinds of flowers and plants, sundry fruits, and multifarious birds and beasts…. The scenery there is so beautiful, as if it is a colorful fairyland. When I was a kid, my friends and I used to shout to the mountains. Immediately, echoes would come back, which sounded like as if there were a group of kids repeatedly shouting in a sharp and loud voice in answer to us on the other side of the mountains. Then, the voice gradually died away into the mountain forests. At this time, my friends and I would look at each other and smile happily. Then I would close my eyes, stretch my arms, and take a deep breath of the fresh air. It was truly refreshing and pleasing!
At this very moment, I thought of the beauty of the mountains in all four seasons, which was so enchanting that it always made me reluctant to leave there …
In spring, the mountains were dotted with the blossoms of cherries, pears and peaches as well as rape flowers. They were vying to dress themselves in beautiful clothes so as to show the world their unique beauty. The bees were humming their distinctive melody as they flew from the peach blossoms to the pear blossoms, busying themselves at making honey. The beautiful butterflies were dancing trippingly among the flowers to the unique music of the bees. All these within my view—the gorgeous flowers, singing bees, and dancing butterflies—presented an agreeable picture. Seeing this, I could not help clapping for them. That was really wonderful!
In summer, the trees were laden with different fruits of all colors, such as litchis, grapes, pears, peaches, and cherries, etc. Humming our local ballads, the adults and children were all busy picking fruit, and their faces beamed with joy. The birds on the branches also danced gaily to the rhythm in celebration of the harvest. In the evening, the villagers, who had been busy all day, came to the riverside to have a rest. The adults were having small talks with each other, and the children were romping about in the bright moonlight. My neighbor Grandpa Wang was skillfully playing the erhu. Enjoying the sweet music, I watched the river which trickled gently around the foot of the mountain. Every now and then, cool breezes fanned my face, and gradually the tiredness of my body was gone.
In autumn, hickories scrambled to take off their green outer coverings and exposed the delicious and nutritious nuts. The bright yellow oranges gleamed against the green leaves as if they were waiting for people’s compliment. Due to their good flavor and rich nutrition, both of them became local specialties and also the requisite snacks with which we entertained guests. Hearing my relatives and friends repeatedly praise them, I could not help praising the miraculousness of the mountains.
In winter, the mountains seemed exceptionally quiet. The crowing of a cock broke the silence and ushered in a new day. On an early morning, I gently pushed open the windows and was hit by a gust of cold wind, which gave me an involuntary cold shiver. Putting on my thick coat, I sauntered to the riverside. On the river and among the mountains, thick mist billowed unceasingly. Later, with the rise of the sun, the mist gradually dispersed. … Afar on the path into the mountains, the traffic flowed—people were coming to mine coal and copper. Day after day, people had lived in this way, and there was no knowing how many years had passed.
In my childhood, I would often ask my friends, “The mountains are so miraculous. Not only do they support us, but the minerals under them bring economic benefits to us. So where do these things in the mountains come from?” Each time I asked them this question, however, they would only shake their heads and give no answer. Then I asked Grandpa Wang, the oldest person in the village, and he just told me, “This is a mystery, and no one can explain properly.”
More than a decade later, one day, I finally found the answer in God’s words, “‘And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth: and it was so.’ While God was speaking, all these things came into being following the thoughts of God, and in an instant, an assortment of delicate little life forms were unsteadily poking their heads up through the soil, and before they had even shaken the bits of dirt from their bodies they were eagerly waving to each other in greeting, nodding and smiling to the world. They thanked the Creator for the life that He bestowed upon them, and announced to the world that they were a part of all things, and that they would each devote their lives to showing forth the authority of the Creator. As the words of God were spoken, the land became lush and green, all sorts of herbs that could be enjoyed by man sprang forth and broke from the ground, and the mountains and plains became thickly populated by trees and forests…. This barren world, in which there had not been any trace of life, was rapidly covered by a profusion of grass, herbs and trees and overflowing with greenery…. The fragrance of grass and the aroma of the soil spread through the air, and an array of plants began to breathe in tandem with the circulation of the air, and began the process of growing. At the same time, thanks to the words of God and following the thoughts of God, all the plants began the perpetual life cycles in which they grow, blossom, bear fruit, and multiply. They began to strictly adhere to their respective life courses, and began to perform their respective roles among all things…. They were all born, and lived, because of the words of the Creator. They would receive the unceasing provision and nourishment of the Creator, and would always tenaciously survive in every corner of the land in order to show forth the authority and power of the Creator, and they would always show forth the life force bestowed upon them by the Creator …”
Thank God for opening up this mystery to us: It was God who used His word to create all things. As God’s words were spoken, all sorts of plants appeared instantly in every corner of the world, and because of their appearance, this barren world began to be filled with vitality. It is also God who provides for all things, and both the succession of the four seasons and the cycle of the year show forth God’s great power and authority.
The rules of all things which God set forth have never changed for thousands of years. All along, God has been supplying us with the things grown in the mountains which we live off. He bestows on us the right quantity at the right time, and provides for our needs according to the season, so that we never lack in anything. God’s words say, “Were God’s considerations better thought out than those of mankind? When you see all that God has done, are you able to feel God’s practical side? God worked in secret. When man had not yet come into this world, before coming into touch with this mankind, God had already created all of this. Everything He did was for the sake of mankind, for the sake of their survival, and for the consideration of mankind’s existence, so that mankind can live happily in this rich and plentiful material world God prepared for them, not having to worry about food or clothes, and not lacking in anything.”
From these words, I have seenand deep concern for us. It is God who has created all things and it is also God who provides for all things and nurtures all mankind. I will take this answer back to my hometown and share these God’s words with the folks back home, so that they can know the origin of all things and cherish the living environment God bestowed on us. Thanks be to God who has bestowed everything on us!
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