One of my favorite activities as a kid was to traipse around in the woods on the back part of our property. We didn’t have a lot of land, a small acreage, but it was plenty for us. There was a nice deep woods that outlined a good-sized field. There was a terrific trout stream that followed the property line, and my Dad used to say that it was the finest Brook Trout stream in Northern Michigan. That’s debatable, I’m sure, but the water always ran clear, and cold. A beautiful golden color.
I was just in Northern Michigan this summer, and had a chance to bound around my old tromping grounds in my Jeep. There was no hurry, really. In the early morning hours, I sat at the edge of the deep Black Lake and listened to the waves lapping the shoreline. Just like the streams that fill it, the lake water has always been a brilliant gold.
When I was young, my parents would take my family for Sunday drives out to different points of interest along the shores of the Great Lakes. We’d make a summer day trip up to the dunes on US-1, along the lower portion of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Other times we’d head further up into the UP, to Neebish Island, or to locks at Sault Ste. Marie. No matter where we went, each destination was packed with different meaning. Sometimes we’d picnic on the sand dunes. The sun was so close and hot that we’d burn like bugs on a windshield. Wave after pounding wave, we’d dash into the frigid cold water and then dance around in the piping hot sand, burning our feet. Later we’d eat the fabulous meat pies for which that region is known. Wrapped in sandy blankets and still sticky in our swimsuits we’d tuck into the truck and head for home.
A girl raised in Kansas might not be able to explain the way a Kansas wheat field is an inextricable part of her. It’s in this way that water is truly a part of who I am. It’s also a part of how I perceive God’s glory. God’s creation is a way in which He expresses His glory. He shows us who He is. There is nothing quite like watching a strawberry sunset on the rolling hills of Nebraska. It’s like He’s saying, “Ask Me to tell you who I Am, Samantha.” And so I respond, “Well, Father. Who are You, and what do You want me to know about You today?” And He says, “Watch this.” And without delay, He unfurls this array of colors in the sky, and the naked branches of the trees dare to impose themselves on the horizon. And I am overwhelmed.
And so it is with the lakes and the Great Lakes, and the seas…
God spoke to Job after he’d been through much trial and terrific suffering at the hand of satan. It’s the most prolific conversation between God and man, that we see in Scripture, aside from the Son’s 33 years here. And, even though Job was generally found to be righteous, he made the mistake of minimizing God’s holiness. God is like no other. That’s what holy means, set apart. It’s in this conversation that God chooses to tell Job about Himself through a series of questions. Part of it goes like this..
“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding,
… Or who laid its cornerstone,
When the morning stars sang together
And all the sons of God shouted for joy?
Or who enclosed the sea with doors
When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb;
When I made a cloud its garment
And thick darkness its swaddling band,
And I placed boundaries on it
And set a bolt and doors,
And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther;
And here shall your proud waves stop’?” Job 38
And then I read it as though the Father is asking me the same questions. “Where were you, Samantha, when I laid the foundation of the earth?” I think about the magnificent creative expression God has given with just the shoreline alone… “Or, who enclosed the sea with doors when, bursting forth it went out from the womb…”
Oh we’ve so much to learn about God and to let Him be God.
You see, when you are in relationship with this God who longs to know you personally, it’s okay that He’s big. And magnificent. And that you’re small. I am small. I love to be small, and to show you my giant God. He’s huge! Ask Him to show you who He is. Then stand back and be amazed as He unfurls a sunset, or a captivates you with the wonder of a single snowflake as it lands on your nose. Allow yourself to be amazed at His glory.