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Timothy Griffin: Looking Up

How Great Thou Art!

(Timothy Griffin)
October 29, 2012

blueridge.jpgOver 100 years ago the Swedish poet, Carl Gustav Boberg penned a poem that would become the basis for the hymn, How Great Thou Art, a hymn that has been sung the world over by countless artists and congregations. And though we sing the words over and over, sometimes we need a visual reminder of just how great God truly is.

Last week, I got such a reminder as I took the long way back from a field trip that I had gone on with my son and I got my first taste of the Blue Ridge Parkway on a cool October day. The taste was so good, I returned with my wife two days later. There are no words to describe the awesomeness of the colors of the leaves on the trees.

In fact, someone in my office told me that 14 hues have been catalogued. While I believe that’s got to be a few short, honestly the number of colors that can be seen is not really that important. The important questions are how and why?

Those answers are available with scientific research and reasoning that will include words like photosynthesis, chlorophyll and pigmentation. But, as I recall the leaves and the rolling mountains on which the trees stood, I think, perhaps the better answer is it was just God showing off in a way that only He can, because He can.

But, even as I consider the beauty, the mystery and the majesty of those fall days in the Blue Ridge Mountains, I know that comparatively speaking, that scene cannot begin to match the mystery, the wonder and the beauty of the miraculous gift of our lives.

As I have opportunities to encourage people both young and old of their worth, the thing that I can always say without question is that we are not accidents.

looking_up.jpgThe mathematical calculations of the of the union of the egg and sperm are beyond incredible.  Consider that one man in his lifetime will produce 36 billion sperm that are capable of fertilizing any of the approximately 400 mature eggs that a woman produces in her lifetime. But then go a step further and consider the fact that your parents got together, and your parents, parents had to get together. When you keep running those generations back, you begin to appreciate the astronomical odds of your existence.

But after running those numbers, you only need to stop and consider Psalm 139:15-16, which I’ve been stuck on of late, and know that God singularly placed you here at this time and His purposes and power supersede any odds. David poetically pens the words, “My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Greater than the visual reminder of any color leaf, on any kind of tree, on any mountain range, on any continent, is the realization that I have been fearfully and wonderfully made by the creator of the universe. My God, How Great Thou Art!

Timothy Griffin serves as a Campus Pastor at Liberty University. The Campus Pastors Office exists to help produce students who have the highest standards of Christian conduct and Biblical principles so that they may reach people for Christ in whatever venue that the Lord may call them.