The grasslands of the desert overflow;
the hills are clothed with gladness.
The meadows are covered with flocks
and the valleys are mantled with grain;
they shout for joy and sing. Psalms 65:12-13
The town of Lake Elsinore is a small slow-growing community of 63,000 east of Los Angeles where the southern California desert begins. Last weekend it swelled to 163,000 as nearly 100,000 visitors came to view the super bloom of California poppies covering the surrounding hillsides. We’ve had more rain this season than we have seen in decades and the wildflowers have gone nuts. I thought about going to see it firsthand this weekend, but the traffic is already reported to be a nightmare and now that the paper did a front page article about it, it will be even worse, especially over the weekend. Maybe I’ll go next week on a weekday. From the pictures it appears to be a sight to behold.
At the same time I saw this in the morning paper, I also read the passage from the Psalms for today and especially the phrase, “the hills are clothed with gladness” caught my eye. I love it when the ancient scriptures and the current culture dovetail. Not only are the hills clothed in gladness, “they shout for joy and sing.” Can you hear it? That’s why I would want to go see the poppies; more than just seeing them, I want to hear them sing and shout. I don’t think you can do that from the pictures. You’d have to be there in person to hear that choir.
I couldn’t resist this story with so much negative news going on — wealthy parents bribing their kids into elite universities (I wouldn’t be surprised to find this going on in Christian colleges and universities, too), outbursts of ethnic and racial hatred, partisan battles raging in politics, abuse and pornography in the clergy — it’s nice to know that God is still clothing the hillsides in gladness and the flowers are singing and shouting for joy. No wonder people want to flock to see this. They are desperate for some good news. Here, the good news grows up out of the ground. It is natural — no technology necessary to appreciate and experience this. And it came from the hand of God, as He graciously opened up the heavens and poured forth rain on the land. This is all His doing.
This is all His doing. He created the plants eons ago, He put them here and spread their seed over the hillsides, He watered them and brought the sun out to dry the ground and open their blooms. From start to finish, this is an entirely God-made expression of color, sight and sound. Sound, you ask? Are you forgetting about all that shouting and the singing? I bet you can hear it if you go there, you just might not know what it is, unless you know the one who created it. All glory to God!