A Devotional Thought by Dick Peterson
One of my favorite songs is “How Great Thou Art.” Seventeen (17) times this hymn repeats the phrase, “How great Thou art” reminding us that our meditation and worship should reflect on the greatness of God and what this means to us personally. In these days of isolation, it seems I cannot get this song out of my mind. When I started meditating on the words, I found them to have a deeper, more encompassing meaning than I ever thought.
“O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:”
This first verse concentrates on the creator God. Everything that exists everywhere in all of the galaxies, even beyond what we can see, was created by God. In other words, all matter (no matter “where” it exists) is God’s creation I really don’t think we can fully comprehend the concept of God’s power seen in creation with our human minds.
After years of teaching neuroscience, one of my students and colleagues said: “In order to fully understand how the brain functions, the brain would have to be so simple our mental capacity wouldn’t be able to understand it.” This is an enigma describing the impossibility of understanding just how our brain works. So, it is no surprise that we cannot fully understand God’s power and greatness. Although we should and do try, we would have to be God to fully understand God’s greatness.
However, through an intimate personal relationship with God that we can begin to gain a better understanding of God’s greatness. This understanding comes as we trust Him through His words in scripture and His working in each of our lives.
“When through the woods and forest glades I wander
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
when I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:”
Despite the effects of sin, we still see God’s handiwork in the beauty of His creation. We need to thank Him for what we see and experience, recognizing that what we see is His creation and in His control. No matter how much we know and think we control, God is in control of everything. COVID-19 is one obvious example of our lack of control. We can only pray for and seek God’s direction each day as we depend on Him to reveal His plan moment by moment.
“And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
sent him to die, I scarce can take it in.
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.”
I find it difficult to wrap my mind around the God and creator of the universe sending his Son, Jesus, as a man, to earth to provide salvation for each of us by suffering and dying in our place for our sins. When I look at the full creation of God, I’m amazed that God provided this salvation and knows and cares for each of us. He wants to walk with us in all the events of our lives so we will grow closer to him and become more like Christ. Paul says we are “being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:18).
“When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
and take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
and there proclaim, My God, how great thou art!”
The promise of coming back to take us home is what we all look forward to. The most important message Jesus gave about this is: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” (John 14:1-3 NIV).
“Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great Thou art!”
This song represents God in all of time and eternity, and speaks of His wonderful plan for all who choose to accept His salvation. He truly is our God and we can sing His praises, “How Great Thou Art,” continuously.
Watch How Great Thou Art performed by Lauren Daigle and Hillsong United
and be inspired by all the young people worshiping God.