“All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful, The Lord God made them all.”
– Cecil Frances Alexander
Like many families these days, our crew enjoys sharing pictures and videos via a phone app called GroupMe. Many times per week, our phones light up with messages and images from our daughters and their husbands sharing humorous moments, special celebrations, tasty food, newsworthy updates, or beautiful places. One of the recurring themes on our GroupMe thread is animals. A sampling: Michaela’s picture of her cat Sprig relaxing in his hammock anchored halfway up a wall. Jenna’s video of a sleek bobcat she spied while hiking Mount Baldy. Andy’s video of a heron taking flight during his morning walk.
All of these shared images spark delight in family members, eliciting “oohs” and aahs” and other approving comments and likes. There’s something about our interactions with God’s wondrously varied creatures, as well as lovely sunrises, spectacular viewpoints, blooming flowers, and majestic trees, that inspire us to want to share them with those we love. For all the heartburn that our ever-buzzing phones can cause, these little family moments evoke genuine shared delight.
Among the Psalms in Scripture, there’s a sub-group known as the creation psalms. Like our family GroupMe thread, they’re full of exclamations of wonder, appreciation, and delight in the dazzling variety of plants, animals, places, and natural processes found in God’s creation. A sampling:
- When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have established; what are human beings that you are mindful of them, mortals that you care for them? 8:3-4
- The heavens are telling the glory of God; and the firmament proclaims his handiwork. 19:1
- Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. 33:8-9
- Yours is the day, yours also the night; you established the luminaries and the sun. You have fixed all the bounds of the earth; you made summer and winter. 74:16-17
- For the Lord is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 95:3-4
- You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills, giving drink to every wild animal… 104:10-11
- O Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 104:24
- Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea monsters and all deeps, fire and hail, snow and frost, stormy wind fulfilling his command! 148:7-8
May these Psalmic words of awe serve as an invitation for us to marvel at God’s creation this coming week.