Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sing to the Lord all the earth!

“Sing to the Lord, all the earth.” So said the shepherd boy who became king.

But does the earth have a voice other than the sigh of a breeze, a river’s whisper, or the crunch of new snow on the path? Does it sing as it warms to the dawn and birds twitter in the light?

I see the earth’s voice in the changing leaves of a Rocky Mountain fall. Yes, see. Not only can I hear the earth praising its Creator, I see it in the blaze of yellow trees once green, in a cerulean sky, and the brilliance of a billion stars on the darkest night. Even the heavens declare his glory.

A song by Mercy Me invites us: “And all of creation sing with me now / lift up your voice and lay your burden down.”*

That’s an amazing exchange, to lift one thing and lay down another. After all, my burdens are so heavy, I can hardly carry them at all, much less lift them up. Maybe I’m not meant to. Maybe I am supposed to drop them and simply raise my hands.

The earth praises God all around us in the manner, and with the purpose for which it was created. We, the crowning jewel of God’s creativity, choose to praise him.

Will we?

*“All of Creation” from The Generous Mr. Lovewell
1 Chronicles 16:23 NIV

Saturday, October 15, 2011

What if God told you to do something weird?

What if you were in a real tight spot—like the desert with no water, and God told you to dig ditches. Would you do it?

Three men set out across the desert and didn’t prepare for the trip. They ran out of water. One of them suggested they check in with God and get his help. God said, “Dig ditches.”

“But there’s no water!” they could have said. “Why in the world would we dig a ditch?”


What if you were about to lose everything—like your children and your home, and God told you to collect jars. Would you do it?

A woman’s husband died and left her up to her eyelashes in debt. Bill collectors were banging on the door, and God said, “Get all the jars you can find.”

“I have nothing to put in those jars and no money to buy anything to put in them,” she could have said. “Why in the world do I need a bunch of empty jars?”


In both situations, these people had only one thing left: the capacity to obey.*

What if God told you to dig ditches or collect jars? Would you?

Reason says, “Get real.”
Obedience says, “Okay, Lord,” and starts digging.

Reason says, “You’re kidding, right?”
Obedience says, “Okay, Lord,” and starts gathering.

What is God telling you to do? Are you familiar enough with His voice to recognize it? Do you trust Him enough to do what He says—no matter how peculiar?

Times are tough. What if all we have left is the capacity to obey?

*To find out what happened, read these stories in the Old Testament book of 2 Kings, chapters 3 and 4.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Peace Like a River

Thanks to my guest blogger last week, you know where I spend most mornings: trotting down the trail along the Arkansas River near our home.

The river is a seasonal host, rushing past in summer, swollen with snow melt and churning red or brown. But now it has laid itself down for autumn and whispers by, laughing only in the rocky shallows or at the bulwark of the bridges.

"We made it,” the waters declare. “We made it over the rocks. They didn't stop us. Praise the Lord!"

If I could truly decipher the voice of nature, would I hear it speak in such a way that praises its creator? What a beautiful declaration—one to which I should add my own voice. But that’s not what usually happens when I’m dashed against a boulder blocking my way.

If you doubt that nature praises Him, read Psalm 148. You can almost hear the water singing.

Maybe that’s the secret to the peace I find at the river—praising God in all things.

Even when I’m pressed against the rocks.