Worship VIII Day 5 How Great Thou Art
Read His Words Before Ours!
“O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.”
(How Great Thou Art, lyrics by Stuart K. Hine)
When you consider creation, what comes to mind? Have you ever seen a close-up of a butterfly’s wings? Or a fly’s eye? Our great God created even the insects to be diverse and complex, for a purpose, and with protective measures in place. Yes, even for a fly.
In the beginning, God revealed His master design through creation. How many of us have marveled at the stars and planets in the night sky? We might even catch a glimpse of the vast Milky Way Galaxy, or the Northern Lights. While we see God’s handiwork all around us, how often do we thank Him for it?
When some of us are shoveling knee-deep snow from our walks this winter, will we stop to revel at the incredible uniqueness of each snowflake?
“When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze.”
It’s easy to express our appreciation to God when spending time in His creation or witnessing a spectacular sunrise or sunset . . .
But do we praise His greatness when the hard things happen?
Several years ago, I found myself riding in an ambulance with my daughter, the day before she turned 6. She was extremely ill with newly-diagnosed Type 1 diabetes. In hindsight, I realize we almost lost her. It was one of the hardest days of my life.
I confess I lacked gratitude to God during that time. Sure, I was thankful we’d caught the diabetes in time to save her life, and thankful for a kind, understanding healthcare team. But, juggling the terror of nearly losing my child and the overwhelming nature of her diagnosis and its implications for her life, was gratitude my first instinct? Probably not.
But now? Absolutely.
I give thanks to God for creating Drs. Banting and Best. Their discovery of how to use pigs to manufacture insulin for human use continues to save lives. Furthermore, I marvel how one little spot on a pancreas is vital for life. We are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made.
Are you struggling with a chronic illness? A diagnosis that came out of left field, as most do?
Let’s be honest with Him, bringing Him our fears, uncertainties, and even our anger.
Then, let’s look up. God knows all and God will indeed work all things for His glory.
Let’s sit in His Word, soaking in the truth of His character and His heart for us.
When we feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of all a diagnosis can steal from us, let’s fight back with gratitude for our great God, who walks with us, holds us and sustains us through whatever lies ahead. (Check out Laurie Wilcox’s story of lifting praise in the midst of a “left-field diagnosis”)
For example, a few years ago, I discovered I was grateful for fog-shrouded beaches. My mom, in apparent good health following bypass surgery, traveled to Florida to visit friends and family. Despite her full recovery, she became ill and was hospitalized.
Then came the phone call and a race to the airport.
I made it in time. I saw her awake … twice . . . before she passed away.
We began to slog through the official minutiae that follows death, especially one away from home. My sisters urged me to slip away, to regain my equilibrium after the whirlwind of the last few days.
I only had a few minutes to take one public access path to a nearby beach. Fog engulfed the walkway, thick and isolating.
But that stretch of beach . . . there was such a holy hush. It was as if God used the fog as His blanket, surrounding and comforting me.
Am I grateful to God for that hard time? Yes.
Do I wish things turned out differently? Of course.
But I still declare God’s greatness through it all.
“And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.”
Remembering my college days, when I didn’t know I was seeking Christ, and how He put people in my path to befriend me, speak His word over me, and give me glimpses of my Savior, I am awestruck and forever grateful.
When I contemplate how Christ, God made flesh, willingly took on the world’s sins in order to offer us eternal life, it blows my mind. Truly.
In our innate sinfulness, we are wretched.
Yet, as God’s creation, He considers us worth saving.
In fact, He wants none to perish. (2 Peter 3:9) He didn’t just take on the sins of people in 33AD; He took on the sins for generations and eons to come.
I am overwhelmingly grateful for the forgiveness I receive every time I repent, and that my burdens are lifted when taken to Jesus.
“When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, My God, how great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee…
How great Thou art.”
Soli Deo Gloria.
To God alone be the glory.
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