The dawn rises on a blank canvas; a scraggly tree, a lawn unseeded, a backdrop of mountains. The picture is not what you think you see, but what is yet unseen. What is it that you do not see?
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
Psalms 4:6 There are many that say, Who will show us any good? LORD, lift up the light of your countenance upon us.
You don’t see the sun, but there are its rays. First they reach their fingers across the yard, converting the foreground tree into a natural sundial, for the sun is rising behind us. As the light pours across the yard, and down through the tree limbs, something takes place. Something brings out more than the myriads of birds darting around the grass, busily collecting the seeds I threw out for the squirrel family. Something more than the light of day begs to witness to the thrift of the avian creatures; discontent to satisfy their beaks and stomachs and babes with the grain in the feeder, until they have salvaged the waste of their prodigal neighbors. After all, waste not, want not! Had the squirrel been too concerned, he would be here now to stake his claim, instead of darting there and yon.
Yes, something more I see, here on this blank canvas of browns and greens of every shade. Watch the cycle of the sunlight… the light from the sun that you don’t see. What is this now? The light itself is a canvas for the clouds you cannot see. You insist that you see the weather, scant low earth clouds of mist and fog, scattered like glistening diamonds in the falling sunset, falling somewhere beyond the corners of your view. But, more than this I persist, more, so much more of Earth’s water stores fill those cumulus clouds in the sky. It doesn’t matter that you don’t see them, can’t measure their size or mark their dimension. They exist, brought to life by the light of the invisible sun. They, with the wind, are what is creating this light storm with the shadows they cast intermittently.
As the wind blows stronger, and the barometer continues to drop slowly down, down, down, reminding me that a change is on the way; the cluster of light that hangs in the air, like some other cloud heavy with electrical charge, changes its step and motion. The light is shaken, as light waves bounce around the open hill sides, and it appears that Mother Nature is having power surges… as if we can see what a storm would look like if we could see the elements midair. The morning lightens, lightens, lightens; followed by the darkness, and the light, and the darkness again. While the wind dances around the canvas, the trees dance with their arms above their heads, and the shadows are swaying as the whole effect looks like a thunderstorm of light in miniature… but for the softly blowing wind of this quieter universe. There is no thunder… only the appearance of lightning.
But wait, there’s more… more than the power surges of light, like lightning bolts, and more than the clouds overhead darting back and forth between the sun and the canvas; creating this between-seasons crisis. There on the mountain tops out toward the horizon, the sun escapes the clouds; the mountains below are suddenly illuminated as with a flashlight shined from God. This beacon’s glow warms the edge of the little mountain peaks, lighting up the recesses, sharpening them for a 3-D light show of their own. Suddenly the canvas appears deeper, and extends farther back from my vantage point. No 3-D glasses required! “I’m on top of the world… looking down on creation,” as the lyrics to the old song go.
There amid the light storm, the birds continue to dart madly around, preparing for the coming rain. Wild creatures, and stray cats of all sorts can be spotted briefly, here and there. Cars skid by in the quickly lapsing time. My husband arrives home from work. Two dogs chase each other across our view. But, I know these are not the picture God has painted for me today. They are only the visible canvas. I can’t find the words to paint the scene as it fairly crackles, like life itself. It is what is happening on that grass, those trees, those distant mountain peaks that tell the story of the unseen. Like the light, and the clouds, and the windy breeze playing the tune to which the trees dance; God is. He is alive, and there is something wild and untamed in His nature, and in His very being. We can’t lay hold on Him. We can’t tame Him; haul Him in and put a fence around Him. But, call His name Jesus, and there He comes; suddenly illuminating us with the light from God’s throne. Ezekiel saw Him, Isaiah saw Him, John the Beloved saw Him: sitting on the throne, and bathed in the light of the universe. And, what is this, a light storm from an unseen hand. And, in the end, those final seconds, God draws the night clouds over us like a blanket.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament
shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night shows
knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the
world. In them has he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom
coming out of his chamber, and rejoices as a strong man to run a race. Its going
forth is from the end of the heaven, and its circuit unto the ends of it: and
there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of
the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right,
rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening
the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever: the judgments
of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be
desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey
and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is your servant warned: and in keeping of
them there is great reward.
Who can understand his errors? cleanse me from
secret faults. Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not
have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent of great
transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be
acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
God has two books: Creation and Scripture. David studied both. He often compared and contrasted the two volumes in his psalms, revealing the excellent nature of God from both. The book of Creation will never contradict the book of Genesis, nor Genesis the book of Creation, for my Father wrote both of them. This Psalm expresses with 14 verses, what I have tried to express in my blogs; that Creation shows God's glory, that the Scriptures show God's glory, and that our personal relationship and communication with God shows God's glory. Some of what I write never gets posted, of course. And, I have several unfinished blogs in the not quite ready for prime time category. I read and think about some chapters and psalms and then never get them written at all, only thinking I have written them down. In all of the showing and telling, as David was showing and telling in this Psalm, it may happen that I tell you the same thing twice. So, if I have been here and wrote that, I hope you can still see the beauty of each passage of Scripture.
Charles Spurgeon said that even the sun shines in light borrowed from the Father of Lights.
"Thou sun, of this great world both eye and soul, Acknowledge Him thy greater; sound His praise both when thou climb'st, and when high noon hast gained, and when thou fall'st.
In my personal search for meaning, for beauty, for reason, I find Jesus, who I can not see in flesh, but I see His face imprinted in Creation and Scripture. It is our interaction with and knowledge of the Words and Works of Jesus that form the foundation of our relationship with Him.
David was a shepherd boy, and spent days and nights in the field, watching the sheep, and the heavens. Psalm 18 was probably written on one of those nights, and Psalm 19 must have been penned on one of those sunny days. In the first six verses above, David is talking about Creation; the Works of God. In the middle portion he is talking about Scripture; the Words of God. The last section is David's prayer to God...communion. It is not yet possible for me to see God, yet He makes Himself visible in his Words and Works.
"Therein our fingers feel, our nostrils smell, our palates taste his virtues that excel, He shows Him to our eyes, talks to our ears, in the ordered motion of the spangled spheres." -Du Bartas
Or, as David said... the heavens are telling the glory of God, the sky showing the work of his hands; today speaks to tomorrow, tonight calls out to tomorrow night. And they are all talking about God's glory. (My paraphrase)
Job 36:3 I will fetch my knowledge from afar, and will ascribe
righteousness to my Maker. (old KJV this time)
Isn't that what I am here for, to write about the righteousness of my Maker?
Summer Sun standing still in my sky, I freeze in the sun because the warmth is so far away. Extreme positions north and south notwithstanding, today has been a sad day filled with memories. God is the creator of our emotions, and the One who fills our hearts with blessings. Is it any wonder we learn to love these blessings, and then ache when they are taken away?
Suffice it to say, the lord gives and the Lord takes away, and His name is blessed. Everything good comes from the Father above, and when the sun sets on another day, or season, or year, we close our eyes in thanks to the God who knows all things. So, it is without reservation that I can say, it's been a good day.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and
comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither
shadow of turning.
The sun may turn in her seasons, casting shadows of light and then darkness, but God has no seasons.