“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the works of His hand” (Psalms 19:1).
Thanks to the generosity of some friends, I just returned from a refreshing 2 day vacation with my family, in a lovely hotel on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Early on the first morning of this stay, I walked on to the balcony of our room for my devotions and felt a great sense of wonder at the breathtaking scenery in front of me (See photo above). The beauty of the whole surrounding, gave me a feeling of closeness and intimacy with the God who had created such an amazing world! That experience, led me to write this post.
There is an illustrative story about a young boy who was walking on the road when he noticed a copper coin glistening on the ground. He joyfully picked it up and was greatly excited about the find. The coin was all his and at no cost! Thereafter, every time he would walk on the road, the boy’s eyes would be fixed to the ground, looking for more money. Over much time, it is said that he found quite a bit of money that kept his excitement high. You might say that he was a lucky guy. Well, not really, for in the process of picking pennies, the boy missed out on seeing all the beauty of the world God had created around him. He missed out on the sunsets, the majestic trees with their fruit and flowers, the beautiful blue sky with its pillows of clouds, the birds with their variety of colors, flying across the spaces above him, and much, much more!
In contrast, around 1885, a Swedish preacher named Carl Boberg (as the story goes), was taking a journey one day in the countryside. All of a sudden, he heard the roll of thunder and soon a storm broke out. After the storm ended, Boberg continued his journey, but now probably couldn’t help noticing the freshness of the grass and the trees after the rain, the singing of the birds and the flowing waters of a nearby brook. Most probably in awe, he penned downed his feelings into a poem (song) in the Swedish language.
The song was subsequently translated into the German and Russian languages, and then into English in 1925. It then found its way into the hands of an English missionary named S K Hine, who did a second translation over a period of time. This great hymn had however still not received its full popularity until a music copy of it was handed over to the featured soloist at all Billy Graham crusades, George Beverly Shea. Bev Shea described the hymn in this manner; “I glanced over the lyrics and music and could see that the hymn had majesty and power to it”. He subsequently sang it for the first time at a Billy Graham crusade in 1955 and the response was unbelievable. Bev Shea further said, “After the Toronto crusade…. Its popularity spread across the country with such frenzy that it soon became one of the most popular hymns in America. It wasn’t long, of course, until it was being sung all over the world”.
No wonder!! The lyrics go like this,
O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the Universe displayed;
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly through the trees,
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur,
And see the brook and feel the gentle breeze;
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
(Quotes/information taken off the book ‘Then Sings My Soul’ by George Beverly Shea)
So friend, whenever you need to feel inspired, whenever you may be battling discouragement, take a good look at or get close to our God’s amazing creation! You will surely say “How Great Thou Art!”
We do not worship creation, but only worship the great Creator!
“For by Him (Jesus) all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,.…., all things were created by Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:16)
For more thoughts on this topic, please refer point 3 of the sermon titled, “If God could speak to Pilate, He can speak to you too” on this blog.
Have you had a similar experience? Please share your comments on this topic.