What is “His Encouragement?”
Thursdays are always a really long day of the week for me. Since I’m a pastor, Sunday feels like the natural beginning to my week. By the time I get to Thursday, I am tired and drained. That’s why I’m excited to join with a group of blogging friends in order to offer you a weekly devotional which will be posted every Thursday. We are calling the series, “His Encouragement.”
It is my prayer that these words of encouragement inspired by scripture will help to carry you through the rest of your week My prayer is that this weekly series will be a much needed of reminder that God loves you.
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 are there words;
their voice is not heard;
yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
On days when the world seems to much to bear, I like to look around me and see the beauty of nature. I remember a powerful sermon that I heard a pastor deliver once when I was at church camp. “Look around you,” he said, “If we didn’t praise the Lord, the very rocks and trees would cry out and praise His Holy Name!”
We were having worship outside that day. As I looked around me at the woods, I was struck by how beautiful the verdant trees were. As I cast my eyes up to the bright blue sky, I marveled at how it looked like a giant dome.
In that moment I had an epiphany. I don’t remember the rest of that pastor’s sermon was about or what his topic was that day, but I remember that single line he spoke, Even if we didn’t praise God, the very rocks and trees would cry out and praise God’s holy name. All of a sudden, that idea made so much sense to me. My young mind realized in that moment just how small we human beings were on the grand scale of creation. Even if human tongues fell silent, Creation itself would continue to honor God.
The Psalmist captures that same feeling of awe and wonder in the opening lines to Psalm 19. “Firmament,” is an old fashioned word for “dome.” The Ancient Hebrew people thought that the sky looked like a giant blue doom covering the earth. I live in a very hilly area, so I really didn’t understand this metaphor until I found myself on a mountaintop looking up at the blue sky. This metaphor made even more sense to me when I went on my first mission trip to South Dakota. The sky just seems so much bigger out west then it does here in my home state. I can definitely see why ancient peoples thought that it looked like a dome.
I find music to be especially powerful. Music is a common language that unites us as human beings. Today, I will play my flute in a choir concert as we joyously worship through music. Tomorrow, we will sing “Amazing Grace,” at the graveside of a beloved church member who has gone home to be with God after 101 years of abundant life here on earth.
Often, when I cannot find the words to express what I am feeling, I rely on the power of music. God has given us the gift of music. It is a beautiful gift that can help us to make sense of our oftentimes painful and confusing lives. It can also lift our spirits and draw us closer to God.
May we continue to raise our voices and sing our praises to God throughout this week and through the rest of the coming year. May we, along with the rest of creation, “make a joyful noise unto the Lord (Psalm 100:1).”
Until Next Time-
Peace Be With You,
Please be sure to check out the other great bloggers involved in the His Encouragement weekly series!