God Is

Day 11

Recovering Wonder

Read your Bible: Psalm 19:1–6

Spotlight Verse:

The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.Psalm 19:1–2 NLT

The Creator delights in His creation.

The Bible says that when God created the world, He paused and said, “It is good.” And when I get lost in wonder while enjoying His handiwork, I am reflecting His own delight.

We live in Santa Cruz, California, where I sometimes jog on an oceanfront trail that winds through Natural Bridges State Beach. Each winter, thousands of monarch butterflies migrate from Mexico to hang out there. I mean, they literally hang out, clustering like bunches of bananas from the trees, occasionally breaking free of the group to flutter across the path.

I enjoy running through the grove they inhabit on my way to the beach, seeing them, and other parts of creation, bursting with life all around me. I wish I could take you on a run with me. Just imagine:

It’s a warm day and they float around you,
like something from a dream,
delicate orange-and-black origami come to life.

At the same beach, framed by a rock arch, you watch
comical shore birds race the waves on stick-thin legs

while elegant pelicans glide just above them,
dinosaur silhouettes against the pale blue sky

In the tide pools underfoot: other glimpses of life.
Purple and red sea stars, the world’s slowest predators,
advance nonchalantly on their prey;
hermit crabs scuttle sideways
carrying their stolen homes
looking for a place to lurk;
sea anemones wave their tentacles,
raising multiple hands to warn “I’m hungry!”

And then suddenly
you catch a distant glimpse:
A spout of water. A glistening fin.
Migrating whales frolic further offshore.

You look back over your shoulder and smile as you see
the fluttering butterflies that sparked your reverie
still drifting and glimmering
and the symmetry fascinates:
The minuscule monarchs and the massive whales,
mysteriously mirroring their migrations.

The other day, because I was looking for it, I saw all this in the same hour. Wow. My spirit was refreshed with a sense of awe. The creation was proclaiming the creativity of God pretty loudly.

Yet most days I don’t notice a thing. Of course I don’t. I’m not even looking.

As author and pastor Mark Buchanan says,

We are all in the habit of asking the Spirit to open our minds before we read Scripture or hear a sermon. But rarely if ever do we ask the Spirit to reveal to us more of God when we study a leaf, rock, bird, child, painting, carving, or poem.26

This kind of wonder was certainly enjoyed by the Bible writers:

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Psalm 19:1

How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. Psalm 104:24

There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number — living things both large and small. Psalm 104:25

They noticed.

Today try to very intentionally notice God’s handiwork all around you. Ask God to open your eyes and help you see.

I wonder if distraction from God’s voice in creation is not the most insidious of the many evils that our culture’s clamor for amusement can bring. Because if I’m indoors staring at a screen all the time I’m missing something very important that God is saying:

Since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20

So notice His power and divine nature in what you see today. I’d also invite you to do something else: Notice the difference that noticing makes. How are you changed when you see evidence of His creative power?

And why not tell God about what you see that you find wondrous, just as you’d compliment a master artist?

God is… revealing Himself all around me.

Questions For Reflection

What impresses you about Psalm 19?

Notice the difference that noticing God’s power in the world around you makes to your attitude. How are you changed when you see evidence of His creative power?

What difference does it make to your attitude? To your stress level? To your sense of the powerful presence of God?