Everything That Has Breath
What made me think the porch was the quiet, peaceful place to have a serious chat with the Lord, I don’t know. But my sense of wonder had somehow dwindled. I couldn’t seem to shake feeling rather humdrum and lethargic. I had to do something. If what ailed me was a simple case of cabin fever, then a shot of Spring temperatures was all I needed. If my ailment was of a deeper nature, if I had given in to hope deferred makes the heart sick, well then perhaps relocating to the porch might help me reconnect with Him and snap me out of it. [i]
But there was no peace and quiet out there. When I crossed that threshold into the great outdoors, I entered the rowdy, three-ring circus of creation. Nature was bustling with life, a literal hub of activity. Elijah may have been able to close his eyes and filter out distractions like earthquakes, tornadic winds, and fire in order to hear God’s still small voice, but hearing God with a squirrel scolding you from the bird feeder, a woodpecker hammering on your rain gutter, and a resident crow caw caw cawing to its pals was next to impossible for me. [ii] Each distraction was my invitation to open one eye and take a peek.
I was right where I needed to be. In this open-air amphitheater, God revealed Himself through the kaleidoscope of His creation. It was there in the hustle and bustle of sight and sound, that humdrum made a fast exit and God restored my sense of wonder.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord is taken literally in this sacred, out-of-doors sanctuary. Squirrels in their dizzying chase up and down and round and round tree trunks, starlings splashing in our birdbath like hyperactive youngsters in a kiddie pool, cows chewing their cud in the neighbor’s field, their calves romping to-and-fro, fanned-out gobblers strutting their manly stuff—all are reflecting in some way the invisible attributes of God. All are living every-day life according to His grand design, praising Him in their own unique way. [iii]
They seem content living in the moment, unphased by the painful trials brought on by man’s sin. Are they really that oblivious to the troubled times we live in? The Bible says they are not. They share our groans. They suffer as labor pains intensify. [iv] Yet, they keep praising their Creator. Why?
Then it hit me. They do it because they share our hope. [v] God, who subjects creation and the totality of earth itself to frailty and frustration because of our sin, is the same God of hope who sustains them. They—like us—wait with earnest longing and expectancy for the day when the children of God are fully revealed. [vi] That day’s arrival will end their futile subjection to decay, and they will gain an entrance into the glorious freedom of God’s children.
So, for as long as God gives them breath, the mooing and chattering, cooing, chirping, jabbering, and cawing, the sound of fluttering and splashing wings, squirrel claws scratching on tree bark, the cock-a-doodle-doo of roosters, the yips and screams of coyotes, and whinnying horses will continue. They can’t help it. Hope keeps them praising. Hope keeps them glorifying God as He intended.
Lord, free us from the hope deferred that stifles our spirits. God of hope, fill us with all joy and peace in believing. “Not a painful trickle”, but abounding hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. [vii] May our conflicted souls—caught between the material world and eternity—be anchored in the hope that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil so we too can heartily participate right now in uniquely expressing Your glory with the rest of creation. [viii] Sustain our sense of wonder so that in the waiting, our voices are loudly heard with creation’s perpetual symphony of praise.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.