...Like a tree (Psalm 1:3) Online Newsletter/Blog

Even Thunder Ice

There is nothing like being awed by the beautiful magnificence of God’s creation.  I want to use this post to share my joy in our Creator and my awe at God’s handiwork with you for His praise. May these reflections spur you on as you remember how God has shown Himself an awesome God!

Over the years, I have seen stunning sunrises and sunsets.  I’ve been blessed to be able to visit Almeria, Spain.  It is on the coast of southern Spain between the Alboran Sea and the Sierras of Almeria. I was staying with a missionary when I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises I have ever seen. She had set a deck up for her children to play on since there were very few yards in her city.  Looking out over the deck wall, high on the third floor, the sunset was breathtaking. The brilliant rays were shining off the water with the view of the mountains on the other side of the deck wall. I had gotten up early, didn’t have a smartphone then, and my camera was in with the sleeping team. Though I don’t have a photograph to remind me of it, the image is locked forever in my mind.

Another sunset I remember (also before the age of smartphones) was in Oahu, Hawaii.  I’m pretty sure the palm trees and beach had something to do with the gorgeous image I saw.  No matter your vantage point, the beauty of a sunset or sunrise cannot be matched by any electronic light show, man-made kaleidoscope, Pixar art, or even any artist’s rendition.  God’s creation just cannot be reproduced. He is such an artist!  Such a creator!

John and I visited La Libertad, El Salvador a few years ago and I was able to compare oceans.  The Pacific Ocean in El Salvador is completely different than the Pacific Ocean on Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii. The sand in El Salvador was a darker sand than I was used to seeing, almost black, as we walked out to the surf.  In contrast, in Waikiki it’s absolutely beautiful white sand, but historic reports from the 1920s and 1930s reveal that sand was brought in from Manhattan Beach, California, via ship and barge, to Waikiki Beach.[1] Although the beaches were interesting, they didn’t catch my attention nearly as much as God’s ocean. The Lord’s ocean is SO beautiful! Now that statement just doesn’t even begin to do the beauty of God’s ocean justice. When I was on both beaches, I had the same feeling of awe.  The powerful sound of crashing waves reminded me of several passages of Scripture:

  • Revelation 14:2 “And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder…”
  • Ezekiel 43:2 “And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory.”
  • Psalm 29:3-4 “The voice of the LORD is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the LORD, over many waters. The voice of the LORD is powerful; the voice of the LORD is full of majesty”
  • Psalm 104:25-26 “Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it.”

Words just cannot describe the ocean fully.  To sit and watch it wave after wave… To hear that sound!  I was in a state of awe, in awe of God’s creation!

Another awe that God blessed me with is the thunderstorm. When I was little, of course the thunder was scary to me, but I was curious to see what in the world was going on out there.  I was drawn to look out and look up.  My grandmother always said, “Darla, get away from that window!”  When I was older, I would go out on the porch during a storm and wonder at the science lessons that told me different things about lightning.  Part of it comes down, but when it hits the positive charge on the ground, we actually see that part the most in a series of spurts. It is just so cool what God has created in thunder and lightning! Now does that lightning scare me?  Well, yes.  I have jumped 3 feet off the ground before.  NO exaggeration.  I was nine months pregnant with my second son and a lightning bolt hit the tree in our yard: a huge 30-foot wild cherry tree.  The lightning not only split the tree in two, it also hit the roof of our doghouse, which was under the tree.  (The dog wasn’t in it!)  It was the loudest sound I’ve ever heard.  When it hit, I was standing in my kitchen and literally jumped up in the air!  I was told it was comical.  It was not that comical to me!  That was when hard labor began.  It was not the easy little contractions that gently make you feel like “Oh, I think my labor has started,” but it was the end-of-the-pregnancy labor that makes you scream.  It was a scene from a very dramatic saga–a pregnant woman doubled over screaming, “I’m in labor!!!” It was a week earlier than my due date.  We lived 45 minutes away from the hospital, so we got a bag together and headed up there.  Every bump and curve coincided with a new scream.  When we arrived, they told me we weren’t even going to see the labor room–the baby was coming and he was coming NOW!  We were only there for 15 minutes and our son was born! THAT’S how powerful lightning and thunder can be!

Mountains are another of God’s creation that have literally taken my breath away. The first time I went to Colorado I remember seeing the mountains in the distance and it was so exciting.  But it took hours of driving after that first sighting to actually arrive in the mountains.  We went to the Rocky Mountain State Park and I was taking in all the views as we drove along.  We drove by very pretty wildflowers, pretty hills and valleys….until we came to this pass.  Our truck came around the bend and it was THE most breathtaking view I’ve ever seen in my life.  WOW!  The vast landscape was so amazing!  Chris Tomlin’s “How Great is Our God” was playing in my headphones, and, I am not kidding–I began to weep.  It was so majestic and so beautiful that it brought my emotions to the surface.  I’ll never ever forget it.  No camera can ever capture the mountains as they are in real life.  It’s no wonder that the Lord used a mountain when He spoke to His servant Moses or that mountains are referred to as “high” and “great” (Revelation 21:10, Isaiah 2:2).

Just the other day we had another of God’s incredible creations:  thunder ice.  It was a rain/sleet mixture turning into ice, creating slick and slushy streets, but it was thundering as it rained the ice. This doesn’t happen very often.  It was so cool!  Then I glanced out the window and the tiny droplets of water freezing on my weeping willow tree in the backyard made a beautiful icy scene before my eyes.  The book of Job came to mind, Job 37:6 and 10, and also Job 38:22 to be exact.  Verse 6 in Chapter 37 says, “For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ And to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong.’” And Verse 10 says, “From the breath of God ice is made, And the expanse of the waters is frozen.” Then Verse 22 of Chapter 38 says: “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow, Or have you seen the storehouses of the hail”…it is God’s sovereignty.  He controls everything!  Read Job 37 and 38. It’s all there.  Thunder, lightning, snow, rain, beasts, storms, cold, ice, clouds, hot, darkness, light…but Job 37:10 tells it all:  “Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen” (italics are mine).

There are so many other things in God’s creation that I could mention.  (I’m thinking of animals, plants, and insects, just to name a few.) These are just part of our wonderful and marvelous Lord’s creation!  Don’t buy into the world’s “Mother Nature” myth!  That is the enemy trying to take credit for God’s mighty and miraculous wonders.  He is awesome and mighty and greatly to be praised!

“ For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power
and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since
the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.
So they are without excuse.”
Romans 1:20


[1] “Where’s the beach? Seeking the origins of Waikiki sand.” by Chris Bailey, Hawaii’I Magazine, February 20, 2009.



Darla Phillips is a member of FCC. She and her husband, John, are active in many ministries at FCC.

Posted in: Christian Living, Worship

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