By Stephanie Landsem

willow riverYou water the mountains from your palace; by your labor the earth abounds. You raise grass for the cattle and plants for our beasts of burden. You bring bread from the earth, and wine to gladden our hearts, oil to make our faces gleam, food to build our strength. Psalm 104: 13, 14

When I read Psalm 104, I can’t help but join in the psalmist’s awe of God’s creative genius. This psalm sings of the earth and sky, the wind and the sea, the creatures of the earth, and the blessings of food and drink that God has created and given to us out of his divine goodness. In the beauty and wonder of the world around us, God is giving us an opportunity to draw closer to him.

Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord, my God, you are great indeed! You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak. Psalm 104:1

Here in Minnesota, after a long winter avoiding the elements and a wet spring spent inside, summer is a perfect time to recognize and give thanks for our God’s amazing creativity. Whether in your own yard, on vacation with family, or anywhere in between, take a moment to let the wonder and variety of creation stir your soul with gratitude and awe. Let it bring you closer to the One who created all.

You bring bread from the earth, and wine to gladden our hearts, oil to make our faces gleam, food to build our strength. Psalm 104:14

Close to home—even in our own backyards—flowers, gardens, and fruit trees are thriving, reminding us of God’s bounty and generosity. The Creator has not just given us plants that provide food to sustain us, but flora of endless variety and beauty to delight our senses—lush trees and vines, fruits and vegetables in a myriad of colors and flavors, and flowers of every shape and hue. How can we not be amazed at His goodness?

How varied are your works, Lord! In wisdom you have wrought them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 104:24

In the summer, our backyards, fields, and farms come alive with all kinds of living creatures. From the new calves in our farmers’ fields, to the countless varieties of birds, to the crawling insects and butterflies, God’s creatures are made according to his purpose and plan. We, too, are created for a purpose and placed on this earth according to God’s plan. If God watches over even the smallest of his creatures, we can be assured that he knows and loves each one of us that He has created in his image.

If God glares at the earth, it trembles; if God touches the mountains, they smoke! Psalm 104:32

As we travel with our families this summer, we see God’s hands in the natural wonders he has made out of nothing. Whether we behold the rugged coastline of California, the Badlands of the Dakotas, or the wonders of Yellowstone, the beauty and diversity of Earth is truly astonishing. Is there anything that can bring us more awe than contemplating these glorious landscapes He created for us?

This summer, whether near to home or far away, take a few moments each day to see the wonder of God’s creative genius, to stand in awe of his divine power, and to offer a prayer of thanks to our Father, who has given us so much and asks for nothing but our love in return.

I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live. May my theme be pleasing to God; I will rejoice in the Lord. Psalm 104:33-34

About the Author:

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Landsem.
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Stephanie Landsem is a wife, mother, lifelong Catholic, and author of authentic biblical fiction. The Living Water series (The Well, The Thief, and The Tomb, A Novel of Martha) published by Simon & Schuster, is based on encounters with Jesus in the Gospel of John. Visit Stephanie’s Web site for more information about her writing.