Symphony of Praise (Day 2 From, Besides Still Waters)
The word tells us that by day God directs his love towards us but during the night his song is with us as a prayer given back to him for the life he has given us (Psalm 42:8). I must admit that when I found this scripture my heart jumped for joy because many times in the night I would wake up with a song on my heart; maybe that’s why I enjoy listening to the sounds of the night here at the lake. I like to take a cold drink or hot cup of tea and sit on the back deck and listen to the frogs. I never knew just how pleasing their crocking could be. Each species has a distinct range from bass to tenor and when they begin singing it is a beautiful sounding quartet echoing from all around our bay. Some nights when the crickets join in, their singing ranging between sopranos to a contralto, is like you’re sitting in the middle of an opera; what I find amusing is the role I can play as the conductor. Where they use a baton or their hands and facial expressions to direct the performers all I need is to change the octave in my voice with one simple word—quiet. Some nights if the night owls are in the area, I can raise the octave a little higher, everything goes still and, the owls enter on cue with a solo performance; “Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise” (Psalm 47:6-7 NIV).
There is so much we can learn from nature, the animals, flowers, and trees, from the sky above us to what lies beneath our feet, everything that makes up this beautiful world we live in, but there is one area we often forget . . . praise. Psalm 148 commands all of creation to praise the Lord, “Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths; fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word; mountains and the hills; fruit trees and all cedars; beast and all cattle; creeping things and all fowl . . . Let them praise the name of the Lord. . .” (Verses 7-10, 13 NKJV).
The garden is my quiet place, when I can’t be on the water it is where I go to meet with my Counselor, my Teacher, and Abba (Father). With each weed, I pull I am removing all the cares of this world from my heart and mind and casting them aside. As I empty myself I listen closely for that still small voice from within. The Lord uses things that are around me to create life lessons, scriptures run through my mind more clearly. Sometimes when I’m working in my garden I listen to the different birds singing in the background, were you aware that some songbirds spend as much as 70% of the day singing. When I learned this simple truth about songbirds I couldn’t help myself from looking up to my Heavenly Father and laugh as Psalm 34:1 filled my thoughts, “I will bless the Lord at all times; His praises shall continually be in my mouth.” It wasn’t long until I could hear the familiar “cheer-cheer-cheer, pretty-pretty-pretty” song of the Cardinal and wondered if it was a female singing as she sat on her nest. A smile . . . then a tear fell from the corner of my eyes as I thought of the words Jesus spoke in Matthew 23:37, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets, and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing.” I wiped the tear from my cheeks as I uttered, “Lord I’m willing.” Once again the Lord used His creation to set His Word firmly in my heart.
Isaiah 55:12 states, "For you shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace. The mountains and the hills shall break forth with singing before you, and all the trees of the fields will clap their hands." (NKJV) As I sat on the ground where I was weeding the garden I started thinking of how wonderful God had intertwined man with nature. I've heard the mountains and the hill singing in the wind and the air filled with the sounds of the birds, but I've never heard the trees clap their hands. After a while I laid back and looked up into the tree canopy, as I often do, my grandmother once told me that my father would do the same thing. There is a cool breeze that comes in off the lake from the north, and if you are outside when it happens, it feels so welcoming on a hot day, and just then, if only for a minute, I felt that gentle breeze as I watched the tops of the trees swaying and then it was gone. I laid there for some time staring up into the canopy; it was as if they were reaching into the heavens branches raised high in praise to their Creator as I remembered a passage from Psalm 96:12, “. . . Then all the trees of the woods will rejoice before the Lord.” Then, with a smile, I thanked Abba for allowing me to hear the trees.