There Is One

Ephesians 4:4-6 – There is one body and one Spirit–just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call– 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

2014-02-02 - There Is One (IMG_0558)A lone tree silhouetted against a cloudy evening sky.  Caesar Creek State Park, Waynesville, Ohio.

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© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.

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Who Has Weighed the Mountains?

Isaiah 40:10-15 – Behold, the Lord GOD comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him. 11 He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. 12 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? 13 Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows him his counsel? 14 Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding? 15 Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.

2014-01-23 - Who Has Weighed the Mountains (IMG_1522)The setting sun highlights the granite peaks as evening settles over the Yosemite ValleyYosemite National Park, California.

When Isaiah asks, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?” he obviously anticipates only a single answer, it is of course the “Lord GOD [who] comes with might.”  This is really a series of rhetorical questions that are being posed here, and the implied answers clearly are intended to demonstrate the power, wisdom, and might of our God and Creator.  His conclusion that “the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales” is the exclamation point on this illustration of the insignificance of man in comparison to the magnificence of God.

And yet, if we back up to verse 11, we see that the same mighty God who created and rules over the heavens and the earth, is also a tender and loving God, for “He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”  And in John 10:14-15 we read Jesus’ own words describing himself, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.”

What an amazing God we have!  He has weighed majestic, granite mountains towering over 3000 feet above the valley below, and stretched out infinite stars in the heavens above, and measured the roaring seas across all the earth, and yet the God of all creation has, in great compassion, sent his Son, “the good shepherd,” to suffer and lay down his life for the sins of the world, so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to him.  Praise God our Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Lord!  Amen!

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© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2014.

Look at the Birds of the Air

Matthew 6:25-27 – Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

2013-12-03 - Look at the Birds of the Air (IMG_4112)A pair of goldfinches (not a reflection) on the thistle feeder in our back yard.

I must admit, as many times as I have read these verses, I struggle to heed the advice Jesus is giving here. I think these words are especially important to reflect on during such a busy time of the year. Between hectic social calendars, year-end pressures at work, and the everyday tasks of life, it is easy to get anxious about it all.

As demanding as things may be, sometimes we need to find time to get away. For me that means getting out into God’s magnificent creation and putting a few miles on my hiking boots. Even pausing a few minutes at the back window to watch the birds on the feeder provides a bit of respite. The peace and quiet of the outdoors help me to set aside my concerns and focus on the two things that matter most in life, God and family.

That said, it is even more important, especially when worries get the better of us, to take the time to bring our concerns to God in prayer and seek him through his word. After all, it is through prayer and his word that we find great reminders, like this passage from Matthew, of our Father’s constant love and daily provision for us, his children, who are more valuable to him than the birds of the air.

Read more about my “God is Revealed…“ category of posts

© Todd D. Nystrom and Todd the Hiker, 2013.