Daily Devotional – I’m Normal.™ I AM Ministries
“To promote Godly living in a culture committed to destroying it”
Monday, August 15, 2016
One never knows what a day will bring. A few years ago, while on a business trip, my first wake up call came before dawn on an unassuming Wednesday morning. I arose dutifully, prepared for the day, and sauntered to the car. My task was to drive from El Paso, Texas to Carlsbad, New Mexico for an early morning meeting. As the city lights faded in my rear view mirror, I navigated the dark west Texas desert, one of those barren and somewhat intimidating 100-mile stretches with few gas stations or other amenities, and precious other travelers to assist in case of breakdown. With a virtual absence of man-made light, this wilderness harbors a stunning array of stars in God’s Heavens above, exposed ironically by the absence of light from civilization.
The first rays of dawn emerged coyly around 6:30 am, just as I was ascending through Guadalupe National Park, home to the highest mountains in Texas. By the light of a full moon and the pre-dawn glow, the world around me began to appear slowly. Still mostly precluded by a large, imposing ridge, I could see the spires of the mountain peaks acting as guardian sentinels to the Chihuahuan desert nestled just beyond their heights. That’s when my second wake up call began to ring in.
As I reached the crest of Guadalupe pass, the eastern sky revealed a spectacular palette of sunrise colors. Framed by the rocky summit, the heavens were positively aglow with the rose, orange, pink, and yellow hues of the spectacular sunrise adorning the emerging sky, foreshadowing the vivid blues of the coming day. What had been sequestered previously by the darkness of night and a massive stone façade was now presented proudly in all its glory. As I traveled eastward, the clouds in the western sky soon adorned themselves in a soft, pink glow, accented by the snow white full moon positioned just above the majestic purple mesas.
Suddenly, I realized how God had been treating me to a special, nearly private show in a remote corner of His Creation – a voice calling in the desert, if you will. The spectacle was a vibrant display of His majesty – the stars, the moon, the mountains, and the sun rising like a golden coin from the distant horizon. It didn’t matter that only a few souls were present in the desert to witness this spectacular sight, God was willing to share it with whomever was there. God does some of His best work in the desert!
To top off the display of God’s creation, I soon passed by Carlsbad Caverns, one of the wonders of the natural world. Although I couldn’t take time to visit that day, I took time on my latest trip to tour and appreciate the cathedral-like splendor of towering rock formations hidden graciously beneath the Earth.
In just a few short minutes, I had witnessed a great suite of His creative wonders, from the Heavens above to the enormous chasms hidden below the ground. He had given me a special gift I had not anticipated when I received my first wake up call. In fact, I had been rather unenthusiastic about the 2-1/2 hour drive when I departed; nevertheless, in His grace I was rewarded with renewed enthusiasm by awesome displays of God’s wondrous creation. What gifts He gives!
Within days, I returned home to my usual commute. My daily travel lacks the drama of the experience of my trip, but I appreciated both commutes more. In the desert, God allowed me to witness some of His spectacular creations on a grand scale. Moreover, He reminded me that He creates spectacular wonders on a smaller scale. Every spring the plants and trees erupt with blooming flowers, no less miracles than the mountains, the sunrise, or the caverns. It has made me realize He has surrounded us with glory if we are just willing to take the time to view it.
My message today is simple: Take time each day to look around at the incredible creation He has given us. It changes constantly, with changing seasons, cycling phases of the moon, constellations that come and go as the seasons cycle. We insulate ourselves from His world in our plush homes, cars, and offices and we generally forget there’s an ever-active creation to provide us with viewing pleasure. We lose the joy of experiencing it when we forget to look and we lose the opportunity to praise Him for the opportunity.
I recommend you take a few moments to look at the stars the next chance you get. Get up a few minute early to watch the sunrise or schedule your day to watch the sun set in the evening sky. Gaze at the moon and marvel how it orbits the Earth faithfully. Take a walk in the woods and look at the leaves, the rocks, and the wonders of nature.
“Have you ever given orders to the morning or shown the dawn its place? Can you bind the beautiful Pleiades? Can you loose the cords of Orion? Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons, or lead out the Bear with its cubs?” (Job 38:12, 31-32). Of course not; only God can do that.
My expected hotel wake up call jolted my body. My normal wake up call jolted my spirit and came as a most welcome surprise as it revealed God’s majesty. Indulge yourself to a wake up call to the beautiful world around us. And as you do, give thanks to the Creator for the beautiful world He has given to us.
A servant of Jesus Christ
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