God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.Genesis 1:31a NIV
Bare feet. Dandelions and lightening bugs. Swinging on the front porch until dark. Tackling an ice cream cone before it drips over your fingers. Watching little ones run through a sprinkler. Colorful flower baskets, and vegetable gardens overflowing with a tangled mess of zucchini, squash, cucumbers, and tomatoes.
Oh, the countless joys of summer.
And besides my own back yard, one of my favorite summer places is the beach. Some folks dislike the combination of heat, sand, and grittiness, but I’ve always thought it a magical place.
The seaside inspires me and makes me feel more alive.
I also like our occasional trip to an aquarium off the North Carolina coast. We catch a ferry ride and escape the mainland as the salt air and sea-spray wash over us. The sun paints our skin with a touch of pink (or red, who cares?) Ah, bliss.
And my favorite sea creature? The seahorse. To me, this creation is beyond fascinating. I mean, look at it. It looks like a horse. Under the water.
I could sit and watch seahorses for hours. What was God thinking when He designed them? What an awesome, funny, unique, hilarious thing to create.
And they fill me with awe of their Creator.
God could have created only a dozen or so animals with varying characteristics. We would never have known the difference. But with the spoken word, His Word, He designed an endless array of creatures that mankind is still discovering. In fact, there are 53 species of seahorses alone.
How He must laugh and smile when we take joy in His creation! How He must thrill when we notice His handiwork and pause to give Him glory.
Watching the seahorses tells me that God is an artist. That He sketches with incredible words of detail and finesse.
In Genesis, when God was painting with words, He would pause and declare that it was good. He took delight in His works—because they were extraordinary expressions of His boundless glory.
Psalm 104:31 reads,
May the glory of the Lord continue forever! The Lord takes pleasure in all he has made!
God took great pleasure in the design and creation of the seahorse.
And He took great pleasure in the design and creation of you and me. In fact, we are the crowning glory of the Father’s creation. How cool is that?
Teaching our children (and ourselves) to keep a heart of wonder in this crazy world is more than possible—as long as we hold on to this:
We were created for His pleasure, to bring Him glory.
So wherever the summer finds us—the coast, the mountains, or our own back yards—we can look for God’s design and artistry. With our children and grandchildren, we can take time to see and to marvel over the wonders of the works of His hands. One seahorse, dandelion, and lightening bug at a time!
Wherever the summer finds us—the coast, the mountains, or our own back yards—we can look for God’s design and artistry. @lthomaswrites #creation #parenthoodTweet
This summer, may the following verses whet our families’ appetites for God’s Word and help us to see His touch in all of creation!
As we soak in balmy days at the coast:
So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good (Genesis 1:21NIV).
Who else has held the oceans in his hand? Who has measured off the heavens with his fingers? Who else knows the weight of the earth or has weighed the mountains and hills on a scale? (Isaiah 40:12 NLT).
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me (Psalm 139:9-10 ESV).
You rule over the surging sea; when its waves mount up, you still them (Psalm 89:9 NIV).
Mightier than the thunder of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea– the LORD on high is mighty (Psalm 93:4 NIV).
Who builds his upper chambers in the heavens and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth— the Lord is his name (Amos 9:6 ESV).
Do you not fear me? declares the Lord. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss, they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it (Jeremiah 5:22 ESV).
As we walk cool mountain trails:
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you (Isaiah 54:10 NIV).
The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it (Nahum 1:5 NIV).
Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God (Psalm 90:2 NIV).
I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2 NIV).
Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the LORD is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him (Psalm 95:1-4 ESV).
He set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved. You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them (Psalm 104:5-8 NIV).
As we chase fireflies in our own back yards:
Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you (Jeremiah 32:17 NIV).
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom (Isaiah 40:28 NIV).
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth (Psalm 33:6 NIV).
Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 124:8 NIV).
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV).
Yours is the day, Yours also is the night; You have prepared the light and the sun (Psalm 74:16 NAS).
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? (Psalm 8:3-4 NIV).
What inspires you in the midst of summer’s glory? Share with us!