Psalm 104:13-30 (NIV)
13 He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the land is satisfied by the fruit of his work. 14 He makes grass grow for the cattle, and plants for people to cultivate— bringing forth food from the earth: 15 wine that gladdens human hearts, oil to make their faces shine, and bread that sustains their hearts. 16 The trees of the Lord are well watered, the cedars of Lebanon that he planted. 17 There the birds make their nests; the stork has its home in the junipers. 18 The high mountains belong to the wild goats; the crags are a refuge for the hyrax. 19 He made the moon to mark the seasons, and the sun knows when to go down. 20 You bring darkness, it becomes night, and all the beasts of the forest prowl. 21 The lions roar for their prey and seek their food from God. 22 The sun rises, and they steal away; they return and lie down in their dens. 23 Then people go out to their work, to their labor until evening. 24 How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. 25 There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number— living things both large and small. 26 There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there. 27 All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. 28 When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. 29 When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. 30 When you send your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
Heal Country, heal our nation
July 4th -11th 2021 is Naidoc week in Australia. It is a time to listen, learn and celebrate together the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. This year Naidoc week is themed “Heal Country, heal our nation.” Heal Country is a call to seek greater protection of lands, waters, sacred sites and cultural heritage. Our daily digests this week will focus on God’s creation and our part in it.
This is a beautiful description of God’s creation. The idea that came to me as I read this is how God puts things together so well – that everything has its place and is able to get what it needs to live. I also got the picture of trust. The idea that the creation trusts God and how He created the system – that they do what they were designed to do and the system keeps functioning well. Toward the end of the passage, it notes that His creation gathers as He draws near, is satisfied from His abundance and is devastated when He leaves them.
Do I set my eyes on the Lord? Do I ask Him about how I can work with His creation? Do I have that trust in God? That He has made a place in His creation where I work in well with everything else? It seems like it’s easy to lose that trust, to be focused on making sure we get what we think we need without paying attention to how the whole system is working, without fitting what we do into the smooth functioning of creation and when we all do that, we can overwhelm creation and damage it. It is easy to assume the earth is so big that we can’t break it. We might think we can change things but not actually break creation. Is that really true?
Our indigenous brothers and sisters lived here in Australia for a long time and yet the land was not overwhelmed. What the rest of us have done in just over 200 years is amazing but is it working in well with the fragile nature of this land. Are we paying enough attention? Perhaps it’s time to listen to our indigenous brothers and sisters – to ask for their ideas about how to keep God’s creation working well and to listen to the answers.
Be inspired by the beauty of the world around us, be curious about how creation works and how people can interrupt it, ask God how we can do better in looking after His amazing creation, listen to those who can speak to how creation is not functioning well – the animals and plants as well as the people. Be motivated by your love of God and His love for you and everyone and everything – through that comes healing for creation and for humanity.
Lord help us to keep our eyes on you, to listen to those you put in our path, to understand how we can impact our worlds – for good and for less than good. Help us to see deeper than the surface, to be curious to see what you see. Help us to be part of healing our country – both recognising things are not working well and by wanting to be part of helping our country to work better for all.
Written by Therese Manning