I’ve found that when I look, truly and intently look, at the wonder that surrounds me in the simplicity and intricacy of God’s incredible Creation – I can’t help but be awe-struck that He who knows every intimate minutia of every blade of grass, flower, fowl, bug… everything.
Have you ever looked at snowflakes? I mean really looked at a snowflake?
When I’m playing with my girls outside in the wintertime, inevitably one or more of them will run over and show me the snowflakes on their coats. And we look at how different it is from the next one that falls. Much as I dislike being cold, suddenly the experience becomes fresh and awesome.
Finding the raw beauty in each icy crystal seems to soften the biting frost, to soothe the chill of whatever other things I’m struggling with at that time, to calm my soul.
One of my favorite places is the beach, doesn’t really even matter which beach in what state, just so there’s sand and ocean. It’s like heaven on Earth for my soul, though I could probably do without taking home so many grains of sand. Until I look at them. Each one is different – shape, size, sometimes color.
On one trip we took last summer, we stopped for a few hours at a beach in New Jersey where all we did was look at teeny tiny rocks, hoping to find itty bitty pieces of quartz. It is amazing how many different colors and shapes and sizes of pebbles there are. The girls brought enough home to fill a vase, which now sits on a bookshelf at eye level…
…to remind us that if God could create each one so specially, so He made us like the tiny diamonds in the rough we had uncovered on that beach.
When we go to the beach, every morning the girls and I go for a walk as the sun rises in glorious blazes of color over the water, reflecting its rays beautifully. Most evenings we would watch the sun set in ever-changing brilliance from the vacation house’s balcony.
Waiting for the stars to shine as the sun sleeps has become such a fascination for our oldest (Cottontail) that she now uses a tiny kids’ telescope to see the moon as its glowing face crests the trees to join the shimmering celestial sky. She loves trying to find the points of God’s drawings in the nighttime, His constellations, and marvels at how something so far from our house could be seen.
Seeing the majesty and magnitude of the Creator’s Creation is humbling, is awe-inspiring, is comforting.
It is incredible to me how many little things I had forgotten in the rush of life, in the crush of schedules and work and daily needs, in adulthood.
I remember being young and seeing everything with such enthusiasm and a desperation to take time to explore and look at things – until life pressed in and required a rush.
Now that I have my own little people, I love that our family has made a point of slowing down and taking time to live in the little moments, to see the snowflakes and the grains of sand, to read lots of books and to play games and to imagine, to spend time enjoying each other and our Creation. They will have an abundance of rush and scheduling in their lives, probably more than they should, and now is our time to be intentional about living a life of gratitude for God’s infinite provisions, for His loving hand that is evident everywhere, for His incredible creativity in caring for every part of every living being, regardless of whether or not each being seeks His face or forgiveness.
His love is still there.
This same God, same Creator of the starry sky and sandy beaches, the fields of flowers, and all things – He knows every hair on my head and every cell of my being, knows every trial and triumph, fear and failure, hope and dream. He feels my heart hurts and my heart swells.
How can I fear my own future and the plan He has for me and for those I adore?
How is it that I keep forgetting that God knows all of my inmost thoughts and prayers, even as He leads me to His greater good?
Why do I continue to try to find my own way, to struggle, to not trust?
Simply and honestly, I am but human. We all are.
Though you would think that, in reflecting on the many, many times I have seen the work of His hands and the molding of clay and the softening of my heart, you would think that I would remember, that I would trust always.
Too easily and too often I forget.
I forget that He holds my sweet babies in His hands and protects them beyond what my earthly hands reach, loves them even more than I can, knows them better than I do, seeks and treasures and uplifts them to His glory more perfectly than I ever could, just as He loves and holds and treasures each of us. Yes, even you and me.
So why do I keep forgetting His promises, His mercy, His love and grace?
I have too many vices I try, instead of falling on my knees and into His arms with thanksgiving and with fear.
I run, literally, to escape the racing, pounding inside of worry or anger. Sometimes I start projects, ridiculously big projects and slug away at them until complete exhaustion allows my mind and body to sleep without being overwhelmed by thoughts. I get frustrated and angry too easily with my beloved littles and trusted husband. I try to avoid conflict with others as much as possible, sometimes to the point that I’d rather be a hermit than be around those causing the turmoil.
I could keep going, but maybe you get the idea and possibly identify with my faulty reactions in forgetfulness of my Father.
Simply and honestly, I am too human, and though I am designed to strive for independence from God, I am still completely and utterly dependent on Him.
But God knew that too, since He created my inmost thoughts and beings.
He knew that the desires of my broken, human heart would lead me away and He would strive to bring me back to His throne of Glory, healing my brokenness and mending my soul. Maybe you’re in the same shape I’m in – breaking and healing, mending and molding, in a seemingly never-ending cycle.
And then I remember that God does know the human-ness of humanity, the deprivation of our souls, the awfulness of our sin, the cruelty of our judgments upon others or ourselves.
He knows this personally, deeply, truly. He knows this because He came to the world as the human-form of Jesus, the suffering and pain, the hardships and heartaches, even the exuberance of gratitude and praise.
Jesus has been in exactly the same places you and I have visited, He has suffered the harshness of denial and excruciating pain of crucifixion.
He knows the whirlwind of emotional changes the people of the world wreaked upon Him from the exuberance of Palm Sunday and previous miracles, the turmoil of the Last Supper and Gethsemane, and the raw brutality of Golgotha. And then and only then, does He return as the world plunges into darkness, His followers are filled with hopelessness and despair, as all seemed lost… Jesus comes, He proves His might and power over even death, that nothing could keep Him from His loves.
How could I forget such incredible, infallible, almost unbelievable love?
How could I forget that He, who did not let death itself stop Him, would also not have power over the hurts of my heart and the prayers of my soul?
How could I forget that the same God who crafted every blade of grass, every delicate flower, every soaring bird and swimming creature, every hair on my head had already crafted my life and my being?
Even as I forget how small my concerns are in the vastness of His love and mercy, as He brings me back, time and again, to His unfailing, unfaltering side, how He who knows every grain of sand knows exactly what I need.
I have to open my eyes and ears to come to my understanding of His. Forgive me, Lord, and I pray for remembrance and trust, for joy-filled intentions and Father-filled hands and feet, for divine guidance and wisdom.
Break me and heal me, mend me and mold me. May it all be for Your glory, and Your glory alone.