So, I was all set for working on something to continue in 1 Corinthians, but Psalm 104 just grabbed me this morning. I was working out while reading it and I read it about five times in a row as I just marveled at the details that the writer speaks of with the Creation. Water, mountains, birds, animals, plants, wine, bread, trees, the moon, the sun, stars – all in there and more.
Verses 24-26 sum it up beautifully:
How many are your works, Lord!
In wisdom you made them all;
the earth is full of your creatures.
There is the sea, vast and spacious,
teeming with creatures beyond number—
living things both large and small.
There the ships go to and fro,
and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
Sidenote – I just finished reading a book called “How to Survive a Shipwreck” by Jonathan Martin, and I was struck by how he referred at one point to this Psalm of how the Leviathan is referred to almost as God’s pet – given a place in the seas to play – end sidenote
But what just kept coming to me over and over was the beauty in the details of Creation. Its little things like a hyrax finding a place amongst the crags of a mountain (verse 18), storks finding homes in junipers, waters running down from high places. All of these things point to what we come to in the last few verses – all creatures look eventually to God, the Spirit of God that renews the face of the ground (verse 30), and leading to praise (verse 33).
Shortly after reading this Psalm I read a few quotes from naturalist John Muir – specifically this one:
No synonym for God is so perfect as Beauty. Whether as seen carving the lines of the mountains and glaciers, or gathering matter into stars, or planning the movements of water, or gardening –still all is Beauty!
My task today was to find a new picture of beauty – something I would come across during the day that pointed God out to me through beauty. This leaf was the thing for me – it is a leaf of a plant in our church prayer garden (not sure what kind of plant it is) but the brightness of the green with the pink and white in the middle all the way to the curved notches in the leaves and even the tiniest bit of color in the center of those notches. Beauty, simply beauty.