The Fingerprints of God

 

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I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place. Psalm 8:3 (NIV)

My husband and I spent the day before Father’s Day on Glendale Lake in beautiful west-central Pennsylvania. Our youngest son, David, rented a pontoon boat for the day as a Father’s Day gift for his dad so the two of them could spend the day fishing. They went last year, and this year, David asked me to come along.

Now, I don’t fish. I don’t even eat fish. But the opportunity to spend the day on a boat relaxing and enjoying nature was something I didn’t want to pass up.

We packed up for the day, and for once I didn’t lug my laptop along, even though I was way behind on my novel writing schedule. I did, however, pack my Kindle. I have library of books on that thing, and I planned to spend the day reading, relaxing, and recharging.

I didn’t read as much as I thought I would, though. Instead I lounged under the canopy, out of the sun, and simply enjoyed the scenery and being a part of a perfect summer day.

Only an occasional wispy cloud floated across the summer blue sky. No heat, no haze, no humidity marred this crisp, clear day, a day when you can see forever.

A summer breeze breathed across the lake and caressed our faces. Sunlight sparkling on the water resembled drops of dancing diamonds. Lush green branches of the surrounding forest hugged the shoreline and painted the waters. Dragonflies buzzed the surface of the lake in search of a meal.

My body leaned with the sway of the boat as it rose and dipped with the wake of passing craft, lulling my eyes to close. The silence was broken only by the buzz of an occasional jon boat puttering by, the lap of the lake slapping the pontoons, the whirring of a fishing rod cast through the air.

David fishing on Glendale Lake
David fishing on Glendale Lake

It was a day when you don’t keep track of the time because you never want it to end.

As the evening sun crept closer to the tree-lined horizon and we headed in, I turned to face the back of the boat and drank in the view one more time. Closing my eyes and inhaling the sweet scents of the lake, I thanked God—for the day, for His beautiful creation.

My body, mind, and spirit were refreshed, renewed, and recharged.

In all nature—from dawn’s soft sky to a vibrant sunset, from storm clouds rolling in to puffy, white clouds that take the shape of whatever your mind’s eye sees, from a million stars twinkling against an infinite canvas to the cloud shadows that float across a verdant field, from the wildflower to the maple tree to the stately pine—I see the fingerprints of their Creator.

A church building is not the only place you can worship God. Just go outside and you’ll enter His sanctuary.

See Him in the trees dancing with the wind, hear Him in the hum of a hummingbird’s wings, inhale His sweet fragrance with the scent of freshly mown grass, taste Him with each drop of rain, feel His embrace wrap around you in the warm breeze.

And know, dear one, that He created all this just for you.

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

Thank you, Father, for this world You created. Help me to take time to savor it. Amen.

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Psalm 19

Dean and I heading out for a day on Glendale Lake
Dean and I heading out for a day on Glendale Lake

Use Your Binoculars the Right Way

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Oh, magnify the LORD with me. – Psalm 34:3 (NKJV)
Except for a few last-minute items, the camper is packed for our final camping trip of the year. Although rain is in the forecast, we’re hoping it’ll hold off long enough for us to hike one of the trails we hiked last spring—the Buzzard Swamp Trail in the Allegheny National Forest.

Experiencing nature, to me, is experiencing God. I stop frequently to enjoy the scenic view, listen to the calls of wildlife or the ripple of a brook, or inhale the scent of pine and humus—and thank the Creator for His awesome work.

We’ll stuff a backpack with our lunch, water bottles, protein snacks, and raingear. We’ll take my walking stick, the camera—and the binoculars.

We don’t want to forget the binoculars, like we did on one hiking trip. Without them, we miss so much. With them, we can see things in the distance closer, clearer, and bigger—that is, if we use them the right way.

Now, who in their right mind would use binoculars the wrong way? While it does take some fiddling with the dial to adjust the view, it doesn’t take a member of Mensa to know how to use field glasses. It’s pretty obvious which part you hold up to your eyes. If you hold the wider end to your eyes, though, the view becomes smaller, more distant.

We have “binoculars” to help us to see God better, too—nearer, clearer, and bigger. But I fear sometimes we use them the wrong way and thus perceive God as distant, fuzzy, and little.

One type of spiritual binoculars is prayer. Talking to God doesn’t actually bring Him closer, just like binoculars don’t bring what you’re looking at through them physically closer. But they do help you to see distant things as though they were nearer. Remember, God is always with you (Hebrews 13:5; Psalm 139), whether or not you feel His presence. The binoculars of prayer, though, bring you closer to God. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).

Another type of spiritual binoculars is Scripture. As I spend more time in God’s Word, my perception of Him becomes clearer. (John 1:1)

Another type of spiritual binoculars is nature itself. I see God in the sky, the trees, the wind, the rain, the rainbow—everything in nature reflects the Creator, who is much, much bigger than the God I can only imagine. The universe—the heavens, the earth, and all of space and what it contains—cannot contain Him. He is infinite, not limited by space or time. (1 Kings 8:27, 2 Peter 3:8)

The problem is sometimes we use the binoculars the wrong way. We hold the wider end to our eyes—and get a much smaller view.

Maybe some folks are content with a small view of God. It makes them more comfortable, feeling more in control.

But remember, the binoculars are simply a device to improve our perception—it doesn’t change what we’re viewing. No device will make God any smaller or bigger.

“I AM WHO I AM,” God told Moses when he asked God His name (Exodus 3:14).

God is who He is—unchanging, eternal, holy, omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent, all-wise, infinite, good, faithful, merciful, loving, just, true, majestic, and sovereign.

Wow, that’s huge.

Are you using your spiritual binoculars the right way?

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I want to see You in all Your glory. Amen.

Rainbow over Smithport Friday, Oct. 16, 2015
Rainbow over Smithport Friday, Oct. 16, 2015

Extra tea: Read and meditate on Psalm 34