Every fall as the new school year starts, teachers all across the country ask their students to write an essay on what they did or saw or learned on their summer vacation. I thought I might get a jump on that assignment and share three things about the Lord that I learned on a recent trip to the Canadian Rockies.
Psalm 19 paints a beautiful background for my three observations. It begins, “The heavens declare the glory of God. The skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.”
When you visit a part of the world that quite literally takes your breath away, you cannot help but see the hand of God all around you. And my first observation is that God is incredibly creative. If I were populating a forest with trees, I would choose complementary colors and dot the sizes according to spatial dimensions. But the variegated colors in Alberta tree lines emphasize the dramatic splashes that only the creator could do.
And a quick look at my animal journal demonstrates that creativity too. Those black bears come in all shades of brown. The trout are dotted, striped and rainbowed. The elk have racks and orange bottoms. An eagle swooping over the waters of a rushing stream doesn’t look anything like a red breasted robin. Our God utilizes a wide array of nature to display His handiwork in a most creative fashion!
I also had the opportunity to hear powerful sounds that I think replicate in an interesting way the sound of His voice. In Psalm 29, the writer tries to describe the sound of God’s voice with various references to wind, rushing water, lightning and thunder. He concludes in verse 10 that the Lord is enthroned as King forever. I couldn’t agree more!
One night, an evening storm settled over the mountain peaks that surrounded the lake side valley where I was staying. Drops of rain began to tap at the window. Soon the drops were pelting the ledge and then the light show began. The flashlight in the sky began to pulse as the sound of thunder rattled around the mountains. It was LOUD and strong and had a neat echo to it. It caused me to pause and consider the magnitude of the Savior I serve.
And my last observation has to do with the Psalmist’s assertion that “in the heavens, God pitched a tent for the sun…” (Ps. 19:4). You see, God is in charge of His creation. He places things where He wills. He causes the animals to reproduce. He orders the universe. It is His work and it functions at His command. Job learned that the hard way as He endured a tongue lashing from the Lord in Job 38-39. Job responded by slapping his hand over his mouth in contrition.
I saw it and was silent. I was taking a canoe ride on a glassy green lake at sunrise. The only sound was the splash I made with the oar and the soft knocking of an early rising woodpecker. As the sun peaked over the hills, it made a broad, sparkling, red streak across the glaciers. It was so beautiful that I was speechless. God is amazing and His handiwork in nature allows us a small glimpse into His majesty. It was a great trip and we serve a great God!