The leaves of the oak tree noisily applaud the arrival of spring. The pointy touch of pine needles reminds me that You are a God who feels and cares. Splotches of shade splash the sun-drenched pathway. What a God You are! We feel wind and waves, see rocks and wildflowers. Near and far, hills and valleys, woods and fields litter the landscape. So many birds, both glorious and plain! Such vast numbers, yet not a sparrow falls without Your notice. With fruit and vegetables, herbs and tree bark You provide Food and medicine in this beautiful, though broken world. Beyond all this, You give us the gift of laughter to brighten our faces When we’re tempted to gloom. You spoke forth all creation as the morning stars sang together, And You hold them all together by the power of Your Word. Indeed, what a God You Are!
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word.” (Hebrews 1:3 New International Version) “What supports its foundations, and who laid its cornerstone as the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? (Job 38:6-7 New Living Translation) “What is the price of two sparrows—one copper coin? But not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it.” (Matthew 10:29 New Living Translation)
I trek the trail descending to the lower falls And see cool water hurrying to the cliff edge Where it tumbles over and crashes in the pool below. A family plays there–young boys moving rocks to dam the rivulet at their feet.
The brook babbles on within its mountain bed, Rambling to places yet unknown and far ahead And ascending, I return to the start, Climbing on the rocky path between towering trees Which grasp for sunlight high above.
Thank You, God, for making all of this for us mere humans to enjoy! How kind and loving You are! Amazing! Creator! God!
Path to Diamond Point
On the moss-bordered pathway, I step over humpbacked tree roots. The wind huffs and sighs, muscling leaves into motion And casting scattered raindrops here and there.
Look at the tiny shelves of fungi Climbing a tree at the side of the path! Rowdy rhododendron completes the wild surround.
Thank You, God, for providing this bit of delight Tucked away in the woods. How good You are, Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth!
“Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” –1 Timothy 6:17 NASU
Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless His Holy Name!
O Lord, You paint the eastern sky with sunrise every morning,
And at end of day You brush sunset colors over the opposite canvas.
Dark of night reveals the multitude of stars which populate the heavens.
Your creation praises You! I will join them with a song of joy.
I will praise and thank You for the symphony of blooms in our front yard.
The Bridal Veil and Forsythia blooms began the melody.
Then the Bradford Pears added their white-frosted branches to the mix.
Their flowers faded out, but the lilacs chimed in with their fragrant purplish mounds.
Our Spirea bushes pour forth fountains of flowers.
The flowering cherry trees add their own notes of beauty.
And daffodils, daylilies, and irises of various hues complete the chorus
To You, the Maker of heaven and earth.
Let Your people praise You! Let all the people praise You, Creator and Lord!
People can admire creation’s beauty and write about its loveliness. Some can paint replicas of nature on canvas. But we couldn’t begin to create life. You alone create living things, whether plant or animal.
You are the awesome, amazing, living God! Let everything that has breath praise You! Amen.
From the hymn “God Who Touchest Earth with Beauty”
photo by Tricia Opitz
God, who touchest earth with beauty, Make me lovely too; With Thy Spirit re-create me, Make my heart anew.
Like Thy springs and running waters, Make me crystal pure; Like Thy rocks of towering grandeur, Make me strong and sure.
Like Thy dancing waves in sunlight, Make me glad and free; Like the straightness of the pine trees, Let me upright be. …
(Lyrics by Mary S. Edgar; music by Frederick Arthur Gore-Ouseley)
(Source – Baptist Hymn Book )
One of my favorite names for God is “Maker of Heaven and Earth” because it spoke peace to me in a crisis a few years back. At that time I searched for comfort one night by leafing through the Psalms. I came upon Psalm 124:8—“Our help is in the name of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth (NKJV).” I could relax. No matter what happened, my hope was in the God who made heaven and earth. It would be all right.
So when God points out to Job in Job 38 the greatness of His creative acts, I’m reminded to praise the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Some things to praise God for from Job 38:4-11 NIV:
You, Lord God,
Laid the earth’s foundations;
Marked off its dimensions;
Shut up the sea behind doors when it first burst forth;
Clothed it with clouds;
Wrapped the sea in darkness;
Fixed limits for it;
Told the sea, “You can come this far, no farther,” and “Here is where your proud waves halt.” (And it obeyed.)
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” (Psalm 19:1)
Lord, You make the wind blow and cause grass to grow.
You give the birds their wings and a song to sing.
You awaken green in spring
From brown of earth’s sleeping.
You paint sunrise at each morning’s light
And sunset near the edge of night.
You give light and breath to all, great and small.
Awesome, almighty–no measure of Your worth,
Maker of heaven and earth.
To those who seek You, You offer more and better life.
Yes, You bestow unbreakable, eternal life.
All thanks and honor to You, O God Most High.
You give rich, abundant love and grace.
O Worthy Lord, please accept our praise.
“[Ask] the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. … that the hand of the LORD has done this, In whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?” (Job 12:7, 9-10)
(Scriptures are from the New American Standard Bible.)
The melody of beginning light and mingled blues and pinks in the skies of sunrise.
The blend of golds and oranges and reds of the waning light of sunset.
A chorus of singing birds and wind in the trees, chattering squirrels and flowers in the breeze at noonday.
Clouds may roll in and shroud the skies in darkness with lightning and thunder and power of strong winds,
Varied voices of God’s people singing praise to Jesus, King of Kings and creator of all things.
Moon and stars and galaxies far, and birds at rest within their nests sound notes of night time.
Near and far, day and night, it’s only right that all things and all people everywhere would lift songs of praise to the God of all.
These thoughts brought to mind the hymn “I Sing the Mighty Power of God” by Isaac Watts.
The lyrics include such lines as: “I sing the mighty power of God, that made the mountains rise,” “I sing the wisdom that ordained the sun to rule the day,” “Lord, how Thy wonders are displayed, where’er I turn my eye,” “…All that borrows life from Thee is ever in Thy care,” with “And everywhere that we can be, Thou, God art present there.” An excellent acapella version of this hymn can be found at I Sing the Mighty Power of God.
Psalm 8:1 “O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth, who have set Your glory above the heavens!”
Isaiah 6:3 “And one cried to another and said: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!’”
Jeremiah 10:12-13 says, “He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. 13 When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens: And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”
(All Scripture quotes are New King James Version.)
Isaiah 40:25 “‘To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?’ asks the Holy One.”
I see beautiful clothes, lovely and fair,
But consider the cardinal, dressed beyond compare.
Who made the cardinal and dressed him so fine?
Our great Creator, the Lord of design.
What art of man compares to what God has done?
Or what feat matches His power? There’s not even one.
Lord, You are awesome, sovereign over all.
Yet You’ve chosen to love us, both great and small.
Your wisdom is broader than the universe vast,
And Your power is stronger than imagination can grasp.
Your mercy and favor, Your grace and Your love—
Overwhelming and humbling, such gifts from above!
Walking in His Love
Colossians 3:12-13 “Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. 13 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.”
Knowing I am beloved to God puts joy and love in my heart. The more I’m rooted in this truth, the more I can be merciful, kind, and forgiving to others. The more I recognize His magnificence, might and total adequacy and my own powerlessness and inadequacy, the more I want to praise and thank Him and bring Him glory.
(Both Scriptures New Living Translation. Picture courtesy Public Domain image.com, Dr. Thomas G. Barnes, creator.)
One day last winter, I admired the beautifully snow-frosted evergreens along the roadside as we drove to church. The next day I looked out at our bird feeder while the temperature outside was zer0 degrees F. with snow on the ground. How delightful to see the sleek red-wing blackbirds which come to feed along with the handsome junco and stunning cardinals with their less colorful mates! I viewed the many sparrows and the female blackbirds which look like over-sized sparrows. I admired the distinguished- looking chickadee and the tufted titmouse with his regal crest. Even the petite goldfinch comes for seed.
And I prayed, Loving Heavenly Father, Thank You that we can provide a little seed for these Your creatures because of Your provision for us. Thank You for physical eyes and mental capacity to enjoy it. I praise You for the wonder and beauty of Your creation. All glory and praise and thanks to You, mighty, marvelous, creative God! Amen.
At a state park recently I took a morning walk among the trees. It had rained the night before, and I saw a stream flowing over large rocks making a couple of delightful cascades, and water pooled in a few low places.
It inspired me to pray, Father God, I love and worship You as Creator of everything. How faithful and merciful You are! Your Spirit is like a mighty river. May I be like a rock pool through which Your Holy Spirit flows, coming in at the depths of my heart and flowing over the top of my life. Let it wash away all the regrets and memories of failures from the past—even from yesterday. Please wash away any sadness or hopelessness that lingers. Stir up bad attitudes and ugliness that keep me from shining Your light in the darkness so I can repent and be clean. Break down any barriers that prevent Your love from filling my heart and flowing out to others. Amen.
Jesus said in John 7:37-38, “…Anyone who is thirsty may come to me! Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.” —New Living Translation
Father God, all-wise Creator, You are wonderful and amazing. There is no one like You. Your marvelous wisdom and vast knowledge are far beyond our comprehension. We humans are so arrogant sometimes, thinking we know so much. We’ve built robots and developed “smart” phones, computer tablets/notebooks, as well as the Internet which makes massive amounts of information available to great numbers of people. Advances in medicine have enabled healing and/or prevention of much disease. People have invented cars, kitchen appliances, heating units, water wells, and dozens of other things that improve our earthly lives.
And yet, You, Lord, are the giver of all this knowledge and understanding. Compared to yours, even the sum of all human understanding—all that ever was or will be—looks like a microsecond in the midst of millions of millennia. You are Creator; we are created. You are infinite; we are finite.
Only You, Lord, have the wisdom, knowledge, power, and love to take care of this world and its troubles. Your marvelous creation shows us these things time and again. You’ve shown us Your love with blessing after blessing. Not only that, You came to us and became one of us. You died to redeem us from our sin. And You rose in power to give us real life.
Jesus, You came to seek and save that which was lost (Luke 19:10), and that includes me. Thank You for redeeming me. Amen.
Isaiah 55:8-9 “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. ‘” New King James Version