I often like to slip out onto the front porch in the early morning just before dawn or in the evening at the close of the day to just enjoy the silence, but a summer morning would not be the same without the glad commotion of nature that seems to sing all around me. The breeze rustles through the trees and it whispers praise; the fragrance of flowers drift through the air as a sweet sacrifice; birds flutter on the ground and in the trees, chattering busily and their chatter is like music; even the smell of mown grass and lazy drift of wispy clouds all loudly proclaim the glory of God.
Those moments often remind me of Psalm 19 which is one of my favorite passages:
The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth 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 hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.
I have several benches and lawn chairs in various places throughout my yard to remind me to stop and enjoy that which I have been given. While I may pray and give thanks as I go about my busy day, it is most often in those moments when I pause and admire the beauty that surrounds me, that I remember how much for which I have to be thankful.
Though I know that God is ever present in my life, it is when I pause that I am reminded that He is there as ‘even the heavens declare His glory’. But although all of creation sings His praise and reflects His glory, we also have His word. And like David, I think it would be difficult for us to look to the heavens and see the glory of God, to pause and praise Him and see His glory in all that He has made without also yearning for precious word that He has left to us by which we may come to know Him more. I think sometimes we overlook the second half of this beautiful psalm.
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 for ever: 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 thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
I pray my heart will never cease to hunger for the perfect law that converts the soul and the testimony that gives wisdom to the simple. I pray that my heart would know the statutes and commandments that enlighten the eyes and make the heart to rejoice. And who can read this beautiful passage without also longing to say with David, “cleanse me from secret faults and keep me from presumptuous sins. Let sin not have dominion over any part of my life. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”