Praise: Part 1

Some years ago my husband and I had a holiday that felt as if we were being treated to twenty-two consecutive Christmas days. Each day there were new gifts to unwrap.

No, the donor was not Father Christmas, but the Father Himself – the Creator God, revealing to us day by day, the wonders of His world.

One morning,  towards the end of the trip, I was sitting in the sun on the verandah in our cottage in Cape Town, wondering how I could ever find the words to express how I was feeling about the magnificence of God’s creation. With a sigh, I gave up trying to find adequate words to praise God and opened my Bible, thinking I would try again later.

Yet here was another gift! for my reading for the day m 104 – a psalm which expresses the wonder of the world the Psalmist sees around him – and it described our holiday better than I could do myself.  Here is the devotional passage I wrote at that time. The Psalm itself is in bold italics in brackets, and is the version found in The Message. The devotion is in plain text.

(Oh, my soul, bless God! God, my God, how great you are! Beautifully, gloriously robed, dressed up in sunshine and all heaven stretched out for your tent.)

We had days of glorious sunshine – clear blue skies – magic days.  The first evening we pitched our tent as the sun went down after a perfect, cloudless day.

(You built your palace on the ocean deeps, made a chariot out of clouds and took off on wind-wings.)

There were days when clouds scudded across the sky – small white ones, high above us; patterned ones, that promised rain, heavy banks of cloud that overshadowed the land, causing spectacular light effects on the hills and the water. Clouds that were gold, vermilion and purple…

(You commandeered winds as messengers,}

The wind at Bloubergstrand was bitterly cold and we wore our warmest clothes as we walked along the beach, picking up shells and marvelling at the oystercatchers that did not seem to mind the cold spray from the sea as they ran along the sand.

(You appointed fire and flame as ambassadors.)

We cooked simple meals over campfires, and on gas rings; and revelled in the heat of the open fire in our cottage in the mountains, as it snowed outside and the wind howled around us.

(…You blanketed earth with ocean, covered the mountains with deep waters;)

We did not see mountains covered in deep waters, but we gazed with wonder at the crystal clear aquamarine waters of Elands Bay, where they winch the boats into the sea every day from the piers. We could see the amazing rocks and multi-coloured seaweed at the bottom, so many metres down.

(Then you roared and the water ran away – your thunder crash put it to flight.)

At Storms River, we were awed at the sound of the surf – an endless chorus of praise as it crashed in and sprayed twenty metres high above the rocks in front of our tent.  White foam against the blue sky during the day; tinged golden pink by the light of the moon at night.

To be continued …

About Mandy Hackland

My love in life is to encourage others to deepen their relationship with God. I write devotional material, stories and small group studies with that in mind. I live in South Africa and also love spending time in the bush, bird watching and walking. I have moved to the coast and am enjoying the green spaces and beautiful vistas that surround me, reminding me of God's grace every day.
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