A little while ago, just as we emerged from under a railway bridge arch to the bank of the River South Tyne, I saw a fish leap from the water. It jumped right clear of the surface and landed back with a loud splash. When fish jump like that, you often hear them, but too late to see more than ripples on the water.
Why do fish do that? Are they trying to get away from a predator? Are they swimming up so fast that they rocket out of the water? Or is it just joie de vivre – the sheer joy of being a fish?
I don’t know. But I do know this: seeing that fish made my day!
Just now, I’m reading the creation story in Genesis. Have you noticed how much the bible writers delight in all that God has made? Look at Psalm 104. How the psalmist loves the way that God ‘stretches out the heavens like a tent’, and ‘the birds of the air nest by the waters’. He relishes God’s provision for the animals, making ‘grass grow for the cattle’. He is amazed at the sea ‘teeming with creatures beyond number’. Even volcanoes: ‘[God] touches the mountains and they smoke’.
Or go to the ending of Job, where He expresses His delight in some of the more extraordinary creatures like crocodiles and ostriches. And Jesus, too: enjoying the wildflowers that ‘clothe’ the fields with a glory that puts even the splendour of Solomon to shame; and telling us that even a single dying sparrow is known to its Creator.
I live where we are surrounded by some of the loveliest natural world in the UK. But even those who don’t have countryside near at hand can find plenty to delight them if they look for it. Cities have sky above them, and many trees, parks and gardens in them. Even there you can find birds. Some of the wildlife that gets into our homes seems less pleasant – not all of us like spiders and mice! Yet even these are amazing creatures, reflecting something of the ingenuity of their Creator.
We know that God takes the greatest of pleasure in everything that He has made. When creation gives us the same pleasure, we, who are in the Creator’s image, reflect His heart for all He has made, and that lifts our hearts in praise and adoration.
How about spending a few moments today to look around and praise God for His creation that reflects so much of His glory?
Prayer: Father, how I praise You for Your wonderful creation. Thank You for so much to enjoy. Today, as I see all that You have made, I thank You for it because, in it, I see Your love, power and glory reflected. Creator God, I worship and adore You! Amen.
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