Sing to the LORD with thanksgiving; making melody to our God on the lyre.
He covers the heavens with clouds, prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to their animals their food, and to the young ravens when they cry.
What a delight it was this morning to sit outside for a few moments and feel refreshed by the cooler desert air. After a long searing summer, I felt renewed as I sipped at my coffee, gazed at flowers, and took pleasure in the mixed chorus of birds. Many of their voices I hadn’t heard since last spring. “Welcome back Snow Birds,” I thought.
Then I watched the sun begin its morning climb and for a brief, passing moment, it painted everything gold. In the morning’s radiance I thought of the English poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, and how “the world is charged with the grandeur of God.” I thought of Isaiah the prophet, and how “The whole world is filled with the glory of God.” I wanted to join the singing.
From where my next thought came, I don’t know, but I thought how I had learned that in Biblical Hebrew there is no word for “nature.” There amidst the beauties of nature, I realized that neither prophets or psalmists ever paid homage to “nature.” That’s strange, I thought, because our culture talks quite a bit about “nature.” But for the Hebrews there was no place in the vocabulary, nor place in their thinking for an impersonal force such as “nature” to care for the world apart from the Creator. I knew it wasn’t “nature” putting on the grand show this morning. It was the Creator!
In this the Hebrew Scriptures remind us of something fundamental and important, but often overlooked. It isn’t nature that guides the birds back here each fall and away in the spring. It isn’t nature that teaches each species how to sing its own song, or how to build its distinctive nest. It isn’t nature that turns the seasons from summer to fall, or turns the night into day. It is the heavenly Father! It is our Creator intimately involved in and embracing His creation! While we do not confuse the Creator with His creation as pantheists are prone, we most certainly discern His involvement in its every part. For “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28).
When I finished my reverie I was off to church where in our opening hymn we sang the grand hymn, “I Sing the Mighty Power of God”:
There’s not a plant or flower below, but makes Thy glories known,
And clouds arise, and tempests blow, by order from Thy throne;
While all that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care;
And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there. (verse 3)
“All that borrows life from Thee is every in they care!” Amen and amen! Will you today begin to see God’s glory in the flower? Will you see Him riding on the clouds? Will you let His creation lift your thoughts to its Creator? If you will, each day can be new and wondrous!
Grace and Peace!
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