Friday, June 15, 2012

Finding God

We don't have to look far to find God. This morning I was reading Psalm 36.  Sometimes we read familiar passages and it's easy to just skim over the words and not allow them to really penetrate our souls.  But this time the freshness and vitality of God's words caused me to  meditate on the message.

This time of the year I love to take walks outside and look at God's creation, even in our own backyard.  His living creation gives me great joy.  My new butterfly bush is bursting with spiky purple cones and I found two gorgeous yellow lilies growing in front of the house.  Where did they come from?  I've never seen these blooms before.  Our cabbage plants all in a row remind me of Mr. McGregor's garden in a Peter Rabbit picture book.  A little gray catbird visits me among our vegetables early in the morning.  Even if I'm not outside, I hear her "mew, mew, mew" through the open windows. I can forgive the deer that ate the tops off all our new sunflowers because I so enjoy watching this beautiful animal wander across the lawn.

"God's invisible attributes, namely his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived ever since the creation of the world in the things that have been made."  (Romans 1)
We see God's character in nature. He is not hard to find. We instinctively know "the heavens declare the glory of God."  (Psalm 19)  But what do they declare?

From Psalm 36:  "Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds."  I remember a day in the park when we were flying kites.  To stare into the sky for such an extended period of time mesmerized me.  I had never contemplated the beauty of the endless, boundless, eternal heavens before and connected it to God's never-ending love for his people.  Will the clouds remind us of his faithful presence whether billowy white or stormy dark?  

"Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O Lord."  God is our solid rock,  massive and towering, our fortress.  The great abyss threatens, but he promises to save.  

"How precious is your steadfast love, O God!  The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings."  Picture a great bird overhead as it soars, casting a shadow on us below.  We hide beneath God's saving grace.

"They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights."  We have rivers teeming with life all around us. God's blessings flow generously, nourishing and refreshing us.  (I've counted 445 gifts so far on my way to 1000.)

"For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light."  God enables us to see and know him.  "For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ."  (II Corinthians 4)

We can see God in all of creation, but even more so, we see God in the face of his son.  One of Jesus' disciples said to him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us."  Jesus answered, "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father."  The character of God is clearly revealed in the life of Jesus.  Read the gospels, see the Son, find God.

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