TODAY IN HIS WORD COMES FROM
Isaiah 35:1-2 (NKJV)
The wilderness and the wasteland shall be glad for them,
And the desert shall rejoice and blossom as the rose;
It shall blossom abundantly and rejoice,
Even with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
The excellence of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
The excellency of our God.
THOUGHT TO PONDER:
When you think of the term "The Glory of God” I know that most people probably will think of Exodus 33 and Moses stating, "If I have pleased You, show me Your Glory..." But for me, I see the glory of God in nature. In the wildness and unconstrained beauty of just sheer nature, and sunsets-- something that MAN could never have made-- I see the glory of God.
INSIGHT INTO GOD'S WORD:
Someone once told me, "You and nature must be one..." because I thrive when I can have sunlight and can walk barefooted in the softness of the grass. In the spring I will go out and flip off my shoes and wiggle my toes and bury them into the ground-- be it the grass or soft dirt-- and raise my arms up and stretch them as high as I can, and as I do I will lift my face to the sun and just breath. In the evenings, nothing pleases me more than being able to watch the sun go down. No matter what the day has brought, something about seeing the sunset connects me to God. It recharges me, soothes me, and speaks as if God is saying, "I have been here all along."
One of my favorite things are butterflies, dragonflies and wild birds. In fact I have two birds that are a rare and wild breed of parakeets-- they are small and dove gray with white markings around their eyes (and I actually let them fly free around the house sometimes on the weekends). They don't whistle, they chirp-- just like the ones in my backyard. They are somewhat tame-- meaning when I go to the cage and whisper to them, they will come to me and tilt their heads, and make the softest noise as they listen to my voice. They will also sit on my finger after they have stretched their wings. And when the windows are open they can hear the birds outside, and they will talk to them. You can't tell which is which-- the chirping from inside my house or the chirping coming from outside-- I absolutely love it.
One of the reasons I am so crazy about the wild birds outside is; it is a constant reminder that true to God's Word, He takes care of them. When man is not around-- God will still water the ground and feed the animals. I love going for a drive up to the mountains or the lake, (or sitting at my spot at the river) and just looking around at the beauty and wildness that surrounds me. To me it is simply amazing that God does not need us to take care of them, He is quite capable of taking care of them Himself.
Something that always takes my breath away is that when MAN did not accept Jesus-- when MAN did not recognize Jesus-- nature did! When Jesus died on the cross, nature screamed, moaned, and shuddered at the death of their creator! When Jesus let out his last breath, darkness covered the land-- natured mourned Him even if most men didn't.
WHY is this on my mind today as I write out this devotional? Because it is springtime-- and once again God is showing me that He is able (and still very true to His Word). You see, He can make a stream in the desert. He can make a way where there doesn't seem to be one and for all intense purposes-- shouldn't be there!
What in the world am I talking about? Simple really-- a rock garden full of Holly Hocks! You see, out in my front yard growing wild for the third year in a row, I have a mass of Holly Hocks growing everywhere. But the thing is I NEVER PLANTED THEM. And where they are growing they shouldn't be, and how they are growing is BEYOND me! The way they are going is almost like a complete ground covering. My yard (in this house I live in), has been rocked in for almost 8 years now! And before that it was all grassed in, so it's not like they could be sprouting from seeds layed before.
However, late fall three years ago (as I write this) these big green leafy plants started coming up (out of season). At first I thought they were weeds and I kept trying to pull them. But after a while I decided to take one of the leafs to the nursery, and the guy there took one look at it and said it was a Holy Hock leaf, but that they come up in the spring and it being so late, they would probably die off and that would be that.
However the next spring they covered my front yard! And the crazy thing is, there were some on the other side of the driveway, that grew just as well as the others, that I NEVER watered! These things came in wild and in every color! They were beautiful, and they are coming back again this year! And I can't take any credit for them-- only God.
Before sitting down to write this; I did a word study on "GLORY" and one of the definitions that struck me was; "Splendor, brightness, majesty." And really each of these words sum up the glorious attributes of God. In all of His splendor and brightness-- He is truly majestic. And in no way can man duplicate it. Man can be talented, creative, and artistic; but man simply can not match the sheer beauty of what God creates with His hand.
God's Word is simple:
"To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him?" says the Holy One.
"Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these?
He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing."
(Isa. 40:25-26 ESV)
"Even to your old age I am he, and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear; I will carry and will save.
To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike?
Those who lavish gold from the purse, and weigh out silver in the scales,
hire a goldsmith, and he makes it into a god; then they fall down and worship!"
God was here in the beginning, and God will be here in the end. Through each generation and after each generation-- God is still God. Sometimes we humans tend to think we somehow need to help God be God; but the truth is He doesn't need our help. We are the ones that need HIM. And He is so faithful in showing us that He is with us. He goes out of His way to show us that He is more than capable to make a way for us. He moves in mighty ways to show us He is all-powerful, and in little ways (such as a yard full of flowers that shouldn't be growing where they are) to show that even in a wilderness-- a dry land with no springs of water-- He can bring forth life and a thing of beauty. And it can only be credited to the Glory of God.
PRAYING IN FAITH:
Father God, thank you for all the ways You reveal Yourself to us. Thank You for being our God and making Your Name know to us. Lord, we praise You because YOU ARE GOD, and there is none other like You. Father, I lift this reader up to You. I ask You to watch over them, and be with them. I ask You to show them Your glory in amazing ways, and in ways that can only have come from You. Lord, I pray You will shine on them today as they go out. Lord, I ask you to direct their steps, and may they stay focused on You.
In Jesus' Name,