by Donna Thompson
I recently took a short trip to New Mexico. I have to say, if you have never spent any time in the pine forests and mountains of our great nation, you have missed out on some of the most extraordinarily beautiful masterpieces of art that God has created! I cannot look at these majestic mountains, rivers, and forests without a catch in my throat. For me, the mountains especially speak of God's grandeur. I don't know why this is - the beauty is part of it, but I think the 'hugeness' of the mountains makes me think of the 'hugeness' of God. And when they are snow-covered - it just takes my breath away!
I went hiking on this visit with my sister and a friend. We were on a man-made path for a while, but we soon took our own way which led to a mountain stream that was just gorgeous. It was very unusual for water to be running like this - clean and cold and fresh - so that made it exceptionally special. But as we got to the base of the Organ Mountains in Las Cruces, I looked up at the sky. The jagged mountain range was a light clay color against the deepest blue you have ever seen. There was not even a hint of a cloud and the mountains looked like they were painted right on that blue canvas. It was absolutely breathtaking! I don't remember ever seeing anything that dazzled me quite like this did. I felt the presence of God in that place, a feeling that still remains with me, even now.
During one of my quiet times after I returned home, I came across Psalm 104 which I have put below in part. Read it slowly and dwell on the all-powerful, almighty Jehovah Lord who created this magnificent world in which we live. Really reflect on these words, meditate on what He is saying and ask the Lord to help you see in your mind's eye the brilliant splendor of His creation:
"Praise the Lord, O my soul.
O Lord my God, you are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty.
He wraps himself in light as with a garment;
He stretches out the heavens
like a tent and lays the beams of his upper chambers on their waters.
. . .
He set the earth on its foundation; it can never be moved.
You covered it with the deep as with a garment;
the waters stood above the mountains.
But at your rebuke, the waters fled,
at the sound of your thunder they took to flight;
They flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valley,
to the place you assigned for them.
You set a boundary they cannot cross;
never again will they cover the earth.
He makes springs pour water into the ravines;
it flows between the mountains. . .
He waters the mountains from his upper chambers;
the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
. . .
The moon marks off the seasons,
and the sun knows when to go down.
You bring darkness, it becomes night,
and all the beasts of the forest prowl.
The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God.
The sun rises, and they steal away;
they return and lie down in their dens.
Then man goes out to his work, to his labor until evening.
How many are your works, O Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
. . .
May the glory of the Lord endure forever;
may the Lord rejoice in his works --
he who looks at the earth, and it trembles,
who touches the mountains and they smoke.
I will sing to the Lord all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
May my meditation be pleasing to him,
as I rejoice in the Lord."
Did you get it? Did you feel His power? Were you able to capture a little bit of His awesomeness? It's mind-boggling isn't it?
But even more mind-boggling than the mountains, the rivers and streams, the pine forests, the deserts, the oceans, the creatures of the earth, the balance that it is in nature, the seasons He created - even more than all that is a truth that is simply more than I can grasp: this very same God who created the universe is the very same God who loves me as if I were the only one He had to love! This very same God who reigns over all His creation and keeps it all in check is the very same God who knows every hair on my head. This very same God who gave us more beauty than we can ever behold or grasp is the same God who puts our tears in a bottle and is mindful of every one of them. This very same God who is Master over this whole universe cares enough about me to bless me beyond my wildest expectations! This very same God who clothes the lilies of the field and feeds the sparrow is the same God who has promised to take care of ME.
It's so easy to fall into the trap of the 'daily grind' and forget all that He has created. Sending His Son to die on the cross was the ultimate act of His love for us - there is no doubt about it. But He also fashioned for us a constant reminder of His Majesty which is contained in every sunrise and sunset we encounter, with every beautiful lake and mountain we come across. Have you ever taken time to watch a tiny ant carrying its enormous load? It brings to mind how God reveres this little fellow and even mentions him in His word, using the ant as an example for us to follow! How awesome is that!! And think about this - God could have created this world in black and white - but instead, He gave us color with infinite shades and sparkling hues! His creation, I believe, is a mere shadow of all the splendor and brilliance which is His very essence. I have to wonder if this is why no one was able to look upon the Lord and live. He is so dazzling, no human eye can behold His wonder and beauty without fainting under the brightness of His Glory. He is magnificent - it is only natural that His creation would reflect that magnificence!
There is not ONE thing in God's creation that should escape our attention. As spring approaches and as the earth brings forth its new life once again, let's take a second look at all the glory that surrounds us now. Just think - one day this will all pale in comparison when we finally stand on the streets of gold, clothed in His righteousness, feasting at His table, basking in His Glory! Talk about dazzling! I can hardly wait!
"On the glorious splendor of thy majesty,
and on thy wondrous works,
I will meditate."