Saturday Dick and I took a break from our normal routine and decided to spend the day relaxing on the beach. We took a cooler full of snacks to nibble on, I brought a good book to read, and Dick brought his snorkeling gear and we sat up our perfect spot in the sand with the waves of the ocean lapping against the shore. Aaahhh!!!
In just a little while after settling in, we were mesmerized by the playful antics of the whales far out in the ocean. With binoculars, Dick watched a number of whales flapping their tails, jumping out of the water, the water would spew high into the air as the whales jumped and splashed and played all afternoon. What beauty---it's indescribable. Such magnificent creatures who come to Maui waters during the winter months to spawn their young before heading back up north in the spring.
I read a booklet this morning summarizing a book by naturalist Dean Ohlman that stressed how important it is for us as humans and caretakers of God's creation to take care of it with utmost care. Creation and all of its immense complexities can never be fully explained or understood, but we are to nurture and care for the natural wonders around us to the best of our knowledge and wisdom. We are to fully comprehend that nature is part of getting to know God in a deeper, more meaningful way. God's works through creation, and His Word, His written revelation, are the two means by which God has revealed Himself to us. By studying and experiencing nature, we learn so much about God and His character.
Nature itself praises God and God rejoices in His creation and delights in all of His creatures. When we purposely seek to see God through nature, we are astounded at the creative beauty, order, and complexity of every living thing. How can we even think that everything just evolved? It was through the mighty spoken Word of God that all came into being and was made for His pleasure and for our good pleasure as well.
Henry VanDyke, the writer of the hymn "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" said it beautifully:
All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
Earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee,
Center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
Flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain
Call us to rejoice in Thee.
Wherever you are today, notice the scenery around you, then look even closer at the complexity and beauty of what you see.
If you see a tree, you see a trunk, branches, leaves, maybe a nut or fruit produced on it. Pick a leaf off the tree and study its makeup. Notice the bark on the tree and how it is distinguished and different from other trees around it. Take a fruit and smell its odor, open it up and see the seed inside---could that have been by chance that all of it came together as it did? No, it was by God's creative power, design and wisdom that all was created and is now held together in perfect harmony. A peach tree cannot produce an apple; a tulip cannot become a rose; a dog cannot produce a cat---you get the picture.
Psalm 8:3-9 by David explains the difference between people and other created things:
"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen---even the beasts of the field, and the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea that pass through the paths of the seas. O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth!"
Take in the beauty and the magnificence of God's creation around you today. Listen for the song of the birds, the chirping of the crickets, the breeze blowing through the trees. Then praise God!