Deeper Hope:

An Abiding Virtue

This book explores the meaning -- and application -- of Christian Hope. It takes the fuzzy concept of Hope and reveals it in everyday settings



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Glory, Declared

God does some of his best work at sunrise, and he never says a word about it. Each morning the heavens declare the glory of God without the benefit of advertising, hype, or self-promotion.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
       the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
 Day after day they pour forth speech;
       night after night they display knowledge.
There is no speech or language
       where their voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out into all the earth,
       their words to the ends of the world.
       In the heavens he has pitched a tent for the sun,
 which is like a bridegroom coming forth from his pavilion,
       like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
 It rises at one end of the heavens
       and makes its circuit to the other;
       nothing is hidden from its heat. (Psalm 19: 1-6)

There are those who say, "Good morning, Lord!" while others say, "Good Lord, it's morning!" His mercies are available to both groups. Only one group will see his glory.

I learned this from a friend: “In the past I loved his words, now I love his voice.” I’ve tried to go about the business of the day while still tuning my ear to hear his voice. I’ve discovered what Psalm 19 has been trying to say all along: it’s God’s nature to speak, and his voice fills the earth.

Daybreak is only one example: spectacular and quiet. Like resurrection. We are reminded each day that God delights in new possibilities. Each morning the message comes again: because of his great love we are not consumed, his mercies are new every morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

Dawn differs from daybreak, and his voice speaks again: the transition from night to day is subtle. It’s slow. Dawn is process, not an event. The hope of transformation is displayed each day, reminding us that coming alive in Jesus Christ is not like flipping a light switch, but rather like the coming of the sun. “The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, shining ever brighter till the full light of day.” (Proverbs 4:18)

Nor does he stop speaking just because the day is begun. King David saw the sun trace across the sky, felt its warmth on his face, and heard the voice of God. His voice engages all the senses.  By his light we not only see, we can actually feel the warmth of his love. It can grow into a blaze of glory.

Once we come alive to the sound of his voice in the earth, we discover it everywhere. One of my friends heard the sound of the Spirit as he planted flowers. He stopped for just a moment, felt the breeze on his neck and heard the its sound in the leaves. To be aware of the breeze is to be aware of his presence. It's a matter of training ourselves to take notice.

The voice of God is available to everyone. The heavens encircle the earth. All of humankind is included. Each of us can see his works. Rich and poor alike can see the sunrise or sunset. Rich and poor alike can ignore the majesty as well. The heavens encircle the earth, enabling people of every tribe and tongue to discover his goodness. He speaks without language to the hearts of men. Children are attuned to the wonder; the busy-ness of adults drowns the still small voice.

Nor does he speak only in the day. Once my ear was attuned I found myself worshipping God under the night sky. I heard the silent speech of the stars. The still of the night is vibrant with his presence. There’s a difference between God’s greatness and his love. Some people are impressed by God’s power and might, the wise fall down in worship at the realization of his love. The sight of a single star in the evening is enough to provoke awe at God’s greatness. A sky filled with stars declares his unfailing love.

I went to bed that night, unaware his voice was even yet still speaking, “He gives to his beloved even in their sleep.”

My prayer the next morning became, “Lord, let me love your voice.”

Reader Comments (3)

How better aligned could the Earth be to see the universe?

How fragile is the life we fight to keep?

Do any of us really believe we coordinate the precise balance necessary to continue?

Why so much free time to sit in awe?

Why is it we get stronger with struggle but we die if we choose to only rest?

What does it suggest when we find the twinkling star we find so romantic consumes all when we get too close?

These are but a few of the questions I need more time with the Guide than I have in this life. The beauty of this life is no matter how I childishly err my Father remains steadfast and consistant in His love and nurture for me; even when I don't think of Him watching. He lets me struggle seemingly subject to my own devices. He intervenes to give me a timeout to learn from my efforts at play. He makes time for the two of us to walk the forests, deserts and beaches while He points out more of life to wonder about. He gives me advice as I am ready and provides the opportunities to understand as I mature. The sun rise, sun set and throughout the night and day are awesome times to savor. The most exciting and rewarding times were in the storms when He handed me the helm saying, "try your hand at this and I'll be right here if you need me."

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterHerm Halbach

He calls to me and I listen. I read. I consider His reminders as conveyed through His servant. Only then does it "dawn" on me that I sit at my desk day after day, multi-tasking, oblivious, unaware of Him...were it not for his servant, Ray...

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterEd

I am your servant, too, Ed :-) Blessings to you!

Hi Herm: You right: we all need more time with the Guide than we have in this life. I guess we could start by taking any time all all to hear his voice. Peace to you.

July 19, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRay Hollenbach

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