Friday, July 23, 2010

He makes the clouds his chariot

The Martin Family is playing hot potato with a nasty cold virus and it was my turn this week. That enabled two things. First, I took two days off in a row. Second, I looked at the clouds a lot.

Last Saturday my body was shutting down from this virus, but I thought it was just the heat. A very hot and humid day, I was digging a hundred foot trench with my neighbour and four hours into thought I was going to keel over. That led to me sitting in my back yard and looking up.

I had been looking down at the ground for so long, pick-axing my way through Rexdale clay, that the sudden image of sharp blue sky and brilliant white clouds above me arrested my attention. “There is a God,” I said.

This reminded me of something John Piper had preached or written once – I have no idea of the context now – in which he suggested a great tool in fighting sin is to get outside and look up! So, every day for the last week, and in particular the last two sick days, I have been purposefully casting my eyes heavenward.

Have you ever thought how much of our lives are spent looking down? Down at the ground to plan our next step. Down at the television (unless yours is wall-mounted). Down at a book. Down at your computer monitor. Or, we may get our eyes up to the horizon – looking where we want to go, observing our neighbour’s property, watching the car in front of us.

When is the last time you looked up?

Looking up means you have to stop. It is not advisable to look up when driving 100 km/h on an highway. Nor can you look up in a building. You can’t look up while you walk down a busy street. You have to stop.

And when you stop and look up and all around – what do you see? “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” In fact, you cannot help but “hear” it. “There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard” (Psalm 19). Spurgeon said, “ Sun, moon and stars are God’s travelling preachers…”

The sky is always there to be observed, but Canadian winters do a lot to hide it and make outside viewing uncomfortable. So I suggest you get out every day for one week and just look. Let the expanse of His creation expand your heart a little and call to mind the One who not only made all these things, but sustains them. Rest in the “bigness” of God for a few minutes – then tell somebody else about Him.