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Written in the Sky!


The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims His handiwork.
Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night declares knowledge.
There is no speech, nor ar there words; their voice is not heard;
yet their line goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
King David
Psalm 19:1-4 (New Revised Standard Version)>

I was reading John Piper’s weighty book, “Desiring God” recently. His impressions of the glory of God really left me feeling awestruck about how beautiful, powerful, Holy and wonderful God really is.
I think the contemplations of that book really helped to set the backdrop for effectiveness in missions during my days in India as well as here in Syracuse, NY. And, like a new pair of corrective lenses, those revelations of the Glory of God have been helping me to see clearly certain passages of scripture, including the one above.

above the cloudsAbove the clouds between India and Scotland

I’ve always been a sucker for a good sky-scape. It’s one of the reasons that I love flying! How often do you get to look at the sky upside down? The beauty of the tops of clouds seem even more dramatic then the undersides. The sheer size of the puffed up, mountain-like masses seems to be greater from above. And, when you are traveling through the air at altitudes that are off limits to clouds, and there is nothing hindering your view of these giant billowy sky-scrapers, it’s easy to hear their message.
The Bible clearly says that they are communicating a message. That message is that God is glorious. The fourth verse in Psalm 19 says (in reference to the skies) that,

“their line goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.”

The word line there, in the original language is like the line to a song, or a line to a poem. Songs, as well as poetry can be very cryptic unless, one is looking at it from the perspective of the author and fully grasping the imagery. The line that is being spoken by our atmosphere is definitely a poetic and artistic message. The same way that a picture speaks a thousand words, the sky says volumes!
As I looked out at the sky this morning, half filled with massive low-lying, shadowy curtains, filled with the gazillions of quarter-sized clumps of lake-effect snow that was about to be (and is now being) dumped on to central NY, I thought of several aspects of God’s glory. The first thing that hit me was the beauty of it. As the clouds rolled in and were filling in the spaces of brightly lit blue sky, a transformation was taking place in the air. It was a beautiful thing, and it was made more lovely by the four inch layer of snow which had found it’s way to each limb of the bare trees on the forest in the back of the house. The white forest was quickly returning to its previous shade of gray as large clumps of snow fell to the ground, but the color of the sky was vowing to bless it with another coat, and the beauty of it was more than evident to me. It was more than just a visual sight. And that’s my point.
Hidden in this morning’s sky was a line about power. Which tree can escape the sky’s dumping? Sure, you can build shelter from snow, but the sheer size of the sky, the fact that it is above all the earth gives us insight into the magnitude of the glory of God. Then, when you consider the other types of surprises that the sky brings, we are reminded of other attributes of God’s glory.
The ear-splitting Ker-acks of thunder and the blinding swords of lightning that divide the sky remind us of the danger of God’s glory. It is more than beautiful, it is also filled with a sense that you ought not get too close unless it’s under the right conditions. And yet, a soft, warm sunset also speaks volumes, although sometimes through a mere whisper, about the tenderness and gentleness of the glory of God, made available to all who will pause to take it in.

sunsetThe sun setting above the clouds from our plane from Iceland to New York

I could also talk about a sky devoid of clouds that allows the relentless sun to beat on those below with scorching heat. Or on the sky that seems to unleash the rivers into the streets. Or when the skies touch the earth in the forms of twisting clouds that will uproot houses and anything in it’s path. All of these things bring new meaning to the word “Awe-full”. Sometimes the sky is shouting and sometimes its words are barely audible over the sound of your own heartbeat, but none-the-less, its line does go forth.
What that means for me is that God is in charge! He’s good, and powerful, and He has my life and all the situations surrounding me, in His control. It means He loves me, I can see His power, and yet the truth that God actually cares for me personally, is also clearly communicated in the face of the heavens. His Word goes forth.
I’m really thankful for those messages sent by nature. Thankfully, He has also given me His Spirit to reside within mine. Through His Spirit within me, He translates these lines. He adds to them where clarification is needed and explains mysteries that would go on being mysteries were it not for His Spirit within me. And thankfully, He has given us His written word as a testimony and a tool for instruction and guidance. Again, His Spirit helps me there, when reading the Bible; if it weren’t for Him, I would have dismissed that as well, as just another old book.
Anyway… I’ve got a lot to do today. I’m going to be writing my final paper for my internship. Finally going to be closing that book, and it’s exiting. So, now that I’ve primed the writing pump, I’ll be off! Blessings to you all.

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