ODJ: The Divine Gardener

December 26, 2018 

READ: Psalm 19:1-6 

The skies display [God’s] craftsmanship (v.1).

One autumn I spent several days hiking in a majestic wilderness. Venturing into an old growth forest, lushness enveloped me. The rush of frigid water cut through tight canyons while austere granite peaks, dusted in white, sliced into the sky. It looked as though some heavenly baker sprinkled confectioner’s sugar across the ragged edge. I found myself being still—watching and listening, hushed, as though I were answering the church bell calling me to morning prayers. Marvelling at all these wonders, I offered the simplest words skyward: Thank You.

My heart knew the truth before my mind could catch on to what was happening. These raw, natural creations instinctively turned my heart towards God. The psalmist tells us “the heavens proclaim the glory of God” and “the skies display his craftsmanship” (Psalm 19:1). Wherever we peer into this wide and glorious world, we encounter marvels announcing God to us. We may shut our eyes or muffle our ears, but we can never escape the resounding pulse of creation. “Day after day” this beautiful world “continue[s] to speak” (v.2).

Everywhere we turn, we see the handiwork of the One who sculpts the craggy ridges and fills massive lakes to the brim. We encounter the Creator who breathes life into each red cedar and who waters the grass with nourishing dew. We receive abundant gifts from the Divine Gardener: plump blueberries in summer, fiery-red leaves in autumn and erupting dogwoods in spring.

To hear the creation’s language, we must pay close attention. The world around us speaks “without a sound”, and yet the “message has gone throughout the earth” (vv.3-4). And the message the world speaks is this: God is alive. God is here.

—Winn Collier

365-day plan: 1 John 3:1-24

Read Romans 1:20. How does Paul’s teaching resonate with Psalm 19? How is his emphasis different? 
Think about a time when you were immersed in creation (hike, trip to the beach, working in a garden, etc.). What was it like? How does creation proclaim God to you?