Thy mercy, O LORD, is in the heavens;
and Thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds.
Thy righteousness is like the great mountains;
Thy judgments are a great deep:
O LORD, Thou preservest man and beast.
How excellent is Thy lovingkindness, O God!
therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of Thy wings.
They shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of Thy house;
and Thou shalt make them drink of the river of Thy pleasures.
For with Thee is the fountain of life:
in Thy light shall we see light.
O continue Thy lovingkindness unto them that know Thee;
and Thy righteousness to the upright in heart.
July 31, 2017 ~ How wonderful that I would come to this psalm in my reading as I wake up on my first morning in the North Carolina mountains! Here I can see firsthand the glory and majesty to which David refers. The expansive sky where the moon and countless stars shine by night and billowy clouds catch water and colors by day, the rolling mountains, the crystal clear springs, the flowing rivers and waterfalls, and the deep valleys all paint a glorious picture of God’s mercy, faithfulness, righteousness, law, and loving-kindness.
Last night my daughter and I, after we had unloaded the car, went back down the mountain to an overlook with a stunning view. Together we gazed upon the sea of mountains, but we could only see their peaks, and only one side of them at that. Tomorrow she will go to camp, and I will continue in sweet solitude to spend the week getting to know God’s creation better, as well as His person. And I will write, and I’ll share some of what I write with you.
This morning I look out from my perch on the porch, surrounded by things God made. Hummingbirds come to the feeder for a drink of nectar and then flit away playfully. Crickets chirp unseen all around me. Birds fill the air with their morning songs. Deer approach unafraid to nibble on the plants that grow nearby. The soft roar of a distant waterfall comes to my ears. Tree trunks extend toward the sky. Some appear smooth and white where the sun reaches them, while others are variegated and coarse, dotted sparsely with lichen and moss.
A dozen or more shades of green surround me. Tall oaks catch the sun’s golden light and hold it where I can see it, maples offer shade, pines soften the scene with their thickly clustered boughs of needles, mountain laurels lend variety to the landscape with their elongated leaves, grasses and ferns grow at their bases, and vines climb the trees for their own chance to see the sun. I cannot see the mountains from here, but I can see the trees that clothe them. Only the dead ones lie down. Everything that lives reaches toward the sun, giving glory to its Maker. This reminds me of Hezekiah’s song, as recorded in the book of Isaiah. Here’s a sampling of it:
Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but Thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for Thou hast cast all my sins behind Thy back. For the grave cannot praise Thee, death cannot celebrate Thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for Thy truth. The living, the living, he shall praise Thee, as I do this day… (Isaiah 38:17-19).
My eyes can see ever so much more than my body has the capacity to experience. And yet I can only see an inkling of what’s here. The same is true of my God. I may spend the rest of my days studying His Word, seeking to know Him more and more, but I will never fully comprehend all there is to know about the God of the universe. Yet I will keep exploring, I will keep coming back, and He will teach me the things He wants me to know. And I will praise Him yet more and more!
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Photos taken in and around Brevard, North Carolina, 2017