Friday, 26 November 2010

On Seeing a Lake Dancing for the Glory of God

“Let the heavens, rejoice, let the earth be glad,
Let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
They will sing before the LORD, for he comes,
He comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
And the peoples in his truth”
(Psalm 96:11-13).

I’m not someone you could call a “tree-hugger”. However, I’ve always appreciated nature and have often been over-awed by God’s handiwork, none more so than when on the top of a mountain. Ski holidays in the Swiss Alps left me in wonder at the beauty of God revealed through the mountains. Standing atop Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK, thrilled and exhausted at having reached the top, and seeing the barren landscape around us, made my heart sing praises to God. In fact, thinking of mountain top experiences, nothing beats climbing Pen-y-Fan in South Wales, which we climbed in the mist, and as we stood at the top of the mountain, feeling that sense of achievement, the mist suddenly evaporated before our eyes and the view before us opened up. Awesome. What a mighty God we serve who created all this!

Yet, there is a difference between looking on nature and appreciating God’s handiwork in it, and actually seeing nature with eyes of faith praising its Maker. I came across this poem recently which took my breath away: “And a dewdrop quivers in His dawn with praise”. Wow. I had never given dewdrops a second thought, let alone seen them quivering in praise before their Maker. This poem reminded me much of Francis of Assisi “preaching to the birds or calling upon sun and moon and wind and stars to join him in praising the Lord” as A.W. Tozer states in ‘Man: The Dwelling Place of God’.

I determined to set out to see, with eyes of faith, nature praising the Lord. I took a walk through the woods at the back of our house, and sat down on a bench by a lake. It was a beautiful autumnal sunny day. Birds were singing, the sky was blue, there was a hint of warmth in the air. Beautiful.

And then my breath was taken away. On the lake I saw lilies reaching out their leaves as if they were lifting their hands in praise of their God. Ducks ran atop the water in delight at this gift their Maker had given them. And the lake. Well. I suppose someone else who had been there would have said the lake glistened in the sunshine. That is not what I saw. I saw light flashing from the top of ripples of water – small eruptions of brilliant light exploding in absolute joy before their Maker, starting off slowly and then building to a great crescendo of light as more and more ripples appeared – it was as if the lake was dancing for the glory of the Lord.

Honestly, I sat there, my mouth open, tears rolling down my cheeks. How have I missed seeing this all the years of my life? How have I missed the beauty around us of the trees of the forest singing with joy before the Lord? How have I missed the sea resounding in its praise? How have I missed the rivers clapping their hands? But I was so thankful to God for opening my eyes to this awesome display of wonder and praise before Him.

And whilst I may have to be content with seeing with eyes of faith for the moment, I know there is a time coming when we will see in full.

“The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God's purpose it has been so limited - yet it has been given hope. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God!” – JB Phillips translation of Romans 8:19-21.

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!


  1. "Yet, there is a difference between looking on nature and appreciating God’s handiwork in it, and actually seeing nature with eyes of faith praising its Maker."

    Only God can make a man see. He opens the eye to see exactly what He desires for it to see. Again, His Sovereignty is at work.

    Thank you for a beautiful post. Secularism has reduced the beauty and glory of the natural world to a lesser reality, but God preaches from the mountaintops and later birds sit in the treetops discussing the sermon:)


  2. Bless you Elizabeth, and for coming up with a line that is superfantastic! "God preaches from the mountaintops and later birds sit in the treetops discussing the sermon"!

    Diana x

  3. Thank you for this beautiful and edifying post! Oh come, Lord Jesus, Amen!

  4. Petra, I'm so glad you read this post seeing as it was your poem that inspired it : )
    May God bless you.

  5. I was so taken in by this piece that I didn't even notice it, I mean the poem... I didn't click on it! Thank you!!! It shows two things. One, I need to click links, and two, I surprise myself by what I write sometimes. God is GOOD!

  6. Petra - I think you've just summed up for me "Love is not is not self-seeking" (1 Cor 13:4-5). May God continue to grow His fruit in your life. God is indeed GOOD! Bless you.

  7. I love to hike, I love nature and how it reveals God's splendor. Thank you so much for this uplifting, beautiful post! I want to sing praises to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ just like the birds and leaves and all the glorious things you mentioned....blessings to you!

  8. Hi Teresa, thanks for reading and your encouragement. I long for that day when all the company of saints will join together to sing praises to Him along with nature - and I can finally meet all my "virtual Christian family" too :) God bless you.