Let the Earth Rejoice
Read the Excerpt
Grandeur and Vertigo
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes,
His eternal power and divine nature,
have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made,
so that they are without excuse.
—Romans 1:20 NASB
It had sounded like a great way to spend a morning with friends—a slow excursion up into the mountains to some of the most scenic vistas in the country. The tight curves, however, and the bright sunlight flashing through the overhanging trees soon triggered my vertigo. Within less than an hour, nausea set in, and I had to pull over.
I was annoyed at my weakness, feeling as if I had betrayed my friends as well as myself. Yet as soon as I saw the sprawling valley that lay below us, aggravation vanished, replaced by awe. We were only 4,000 feet up, but we were left speechless by the dark green peaks, shadowed gaps, and glistening river below. A cool breeze helped push away the nausea, and I leaned against a post, marveling at the grandeur of God’s creation.
The same power that formed these mountains had, in love, brought us here. God’s love encompasses us and spreads before us the glory of his creation. In every sunset, every mountaintop, every new day, we are blessed by Him, and we have no excuse to overlook His presence around us.
Father, may we always see your nature in the beauty of the world around us. Let us acknowledge your power in creation and your love in us. Amen.
Is It a Weed? Or a Flower?
And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind,
and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind:
and God saw that it was good.
—Genesis 1:12 KJV
A master gardener, the old man had a truck farm behind his house, filled with beans, squash, melons, peas, tomatoes, and corn. Narrow rows of flowers surrounded the garden, each chosen for its ability to keep down insects and discourage weeds.
When asked the difference between a flower and a weed, he smiled. “They are all flowers in God’s eyes. He made them. All beautiful. A weed is just a flower that grows where someone doesn’t want it to.”
Queen Anne’s Lace, for instance, is often considered a weed, but its intricate and delicate wildflower beauty turns many pastures into glorious white-capped seas. Abandoned land reverts into a riot of wild daisies, violets, and primroses, all of which would be plowed under if someone desired a smooth lawn or garden plot.
God has filled his world with beauty and grandeur for us, in snow-crested mountains and deep valleys. But His touch is also seen in the tiniest of flowers growing wild. His glory surrounds us, reminding us always that He is Lord of all creation.
Lord, let us give thanks to the bounty and glory of your creation. You are present in it all, and we are grateful for your provision and love. Amen.
The Path of a Sand Dollar
So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms
in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind.
And God saw that it was good.
Most people are familiar with sand dollars as those round, white disks available in a plethora of tourist shops in coastal towns. Dried and bleached, they represent pleasant, sun-drenched memories of wave-washed beaches.
Living sand dollars, however, are darker in color, from beige to a deep purple. They mostly live in clusters on the oceans floor, where they eat by moving slowly across the sand. In an area undisturbed by currents, a group of sand dollars can leave extremely long trails, representing weeks, if not months, of movement. While our lives seem to flash by, they plod along, ending up only a few yards from where they were last week. They do eat small animals, but they also scavenge, cleaning up what others left behind.
God made “every living thing” in the ocean remarkable, from the giant whales down to the microscopic plankton to the plodding sand dollar. In each minute detail we can see the glory of his work, the magnificence of His creative power. Nothing is overlooked, in our lives—or the lives of the tiniest of creatures.
God, we praise you and thank you for the glorious creation around us. Thank you for each loving detail you have put into the world around us. Amen.