“Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God. He comes from the north as a golden splendor; with God is awesome majesty.”  Job 38: 14,22

“Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Then adorn yourself with majesty and splendor, and array yourself with glory and beauty.”  Job 40:8,10

I had one of those truly awe inspiring, incredibly breathtaking experiences this past Friday.  Throughout the day there had been a mix of clouds and sunshine which kept the temperatures just a little cooler than I would have chosen.  Even at times there were brief periods of fog and rain which impacted some outdoor plans.  Yet when the sun just had fallen past the horizon and first with just the slightest hint of pink the sky started to transform from its monochromatic gray sameness.  The experience was not unlike listening to a beloved classical masterpiece where the melody starts soft and low with the sky turning an ever so slight shade of pink in places.  Then like a major symphonic crescendo building louder with ever increasing numbers of instruments and increase in volume, new colors of red, orange, yellow and gold burst onto the scene with an intensity that was almost beyond comprehension.  I could not bear to take my eyes away for a moment as the scene evolved in transcendent beauty with each passing moment.  Then, as quickly as it had built, the colors softened as the light faded into the tranquil finale of the piece.

I was almost moved to tears.  My heart beat mightily within my chest with spasms of thanksgiving for the utterly free performance I had just witnessed.  What was also a true joy and delight was that I was able to share the experience with my beloved family who were equally moved.  For those few moments we bonded completely in our love and admiration for the gifts Our Heavenly Father so freely bestows upon us.

In and of itself, the above might be an adequate testimony or posting to God’s greatness.  Yet something struck me this morning as I was getting to the end of the Book of Job.  After Job has questioned the value of his own existence and the thinking of God, after Job’s friends have foolishly attempted, using their feeble human understanding, to explain the nature of God, God responds.  It is in that response that another invaluable lesson occurs to me from my experience with the sunset on Friday.  You see, we took many pictures of the sunset and there are many talented artists who have attempted to capture the beauty of those God given times.

Yet here is the thing, no matter how accurate the photo, how wonderful the artist’s brush strokes, they are only a mimicking of, only a representation of the initial glory which can only be supplied by God.  Here is the thing that I think we must understand; it can be easy to see with something as grand as a beautiful sunset or panoramic natural scene, but is less obvious when we think in terms of our own talents, wisdom, generosity or righteousness.  All of those things come from God.  When we attempt to reproduce those same attributes, whether physically, mentally or spiritually, they are but pale comparisons to the true Nature and Splendor of The Almighty.

Where you and I (and I know especially I) can get into trouble is when we glorify the reproduction and minimize the input of The Original Producer.  How inaccurate and just plain wrong it would be, as far as this post or blog is concerned, to think that it is in any way shape or form equivalent to the message, wisdom or thinking of Our Heavenly Father or that its origins start with me alone.  No, it is far from it.  God is the source of the talent and material for this blog and that it may lead to some edification is measure of His Grace versus my effort.

Thus, yes, God gives us those experiences and so many blessings to enrich and ever enhance our existence.  We of course should respond with joy and thanksgiving.  As well we need to be honest with ourselves at those times, experiencing the unachievable glory and splendor of God Almighty.  We must fight the temptation to find pride in our ability to replicate and even in some cases to appreciate His Divine Handiwork.  As if somehow, our taking notice of it makes us a better, more righteous person than those who blindly pass by.

Let our response be true praise and thanksgiving.  In addition, may we be truly humbled by His Magnificent Glory that is freely displayed for all of us to witness.  Finally, may it be that we see and acknowledge His Glory and Splendor in all blessings and good works never trying to substitute our own glory for His.

Our Most Gracious and Heavenly Father, we proclaim that daily and often, even more times than that; you show forth Your Splendor and Power in blessings to us.  Help us to be filled with thanksgiving at all the works of Your Hands.  Forgive us Most Merciful Father, when we attempt to take upon ourselves; the glory and praise which rightly belongs to You.  May we be humble in our outlook and ever praising to You in our behavior that our lives would be living praise to You.  We pray in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen