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14 January 2008

Opposable Thumbs

I suppose my cat is good for something. Occasionally my son, in his own particular idiom, will remark of Jesse the cat, "He would help [in doing whatever task it is that needs to be done], but he doesn't have opposable thumbs." (Thumbs are "opposable" in that they can turn in the opposite direction of the other fingers.)

Not too far afield from the line of thought that Tony mentioned under Saturday's post, do you ever thank God for the mundane? Most of us let that sort of praying fall by the wayside after we got out of kindergarten. "Thank You for the trees," and "Thank You for the birds," were pretty popular prayers in Sunday School around that time, as I recall. Now that we're older, wiser, and far more skilled at being callous, we probably have a tendency to smirk and think, "Isn't that cute?" when we hear a child pray along those lines.

Again, do you ever marvel at the things we consider to be little? You may think this weird, but are you ever thankful for the fact that you don't simply fall over when you try to walk on those two stalks known as "legs"? (Psalm 139:14) Do you ever look up and tell God, "That's beautiful!" when you take in the sheer beauty and depth of color of a blue sky? (Psalm 104:3)

Constantly meditating on and thanking God for the fact that He has created us and the world around us in a wholly miraculous manner will go quite a long way in keeping our minds continually fixed on Him. After reading Psalm 104, it's hard to think of His creation as ordinary.


Preston N said...

I think this is such an overlooked part of our walk with God. I think of what Pauls says Romans 1:20

"For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse:"

By observing the very way God has created the earth we can tell of his "invisible attribute" - that is his very character and nature. Given the power God has, he could have made a world very different from what we see today. I thank God I am not breathing sulfuric acid, I thank God I don't eat tasteless or bitter food (wait, that might be the reason I am 20 lbs over weight), the fact that we have wonderful things to see and do in our world, the fact that we have children and a spouse, the fact God invented colors and we don't have a pale or muted world, the fact God gave us animals as companions. So often we take for granted who God is by not looking at the very creation before us. Even in its fallen state, creation gives us a pretty good idea on what type of God exist. I think King David had probably the best appreciation of this is the Psalms.

Psa 33:4-8 For the word of Jehovah is right; And all his work is done in faithfulness. (5) He loveth righteousness and justice: The earth is full of the lovingkindness of Jehovah. (6) By the word of Jehovah were the heavens made, And all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. (7) He gathereth the waters of the sea together as a heap: He layeth up the deeps in store-houses. (8) Let all the earth fear Jehovah: Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.

I don't think David was just speaking of God's power here, but it says of "His lovingkindness"! We see that even the creation demonstrates the known character of God. What a mighty and loving God we serve!

Tony M said...

Counterpoint: if we were designed by God to breath sulfuric acid, it probably wouldn't be the same sensation as we (as currently designed, to breath air) would feel now.

I wonder, though... did cows and pigs taste good before the fall in the garden? That is, did God, in His infinite wisdom (and knowledge of what man was gonna do), go ahead and make cows & pigs (and fish and buffalo and chickens and turkeys and...) nice & tasty from the beginning? Or did He change their flavor afterwards? Regardless, I am thankful for this, even though it may seem I'm being facetious. (If you can't tell, I'm not a vegetarian; of course, had we not ruined the world with our sin, I'd have been perfectly satisfied in a world of veggies & fruits, as I wouldn't be missing anything since death hadn't entered into the equation.)

Ok, sorry, think I'm a little off-topic here, perhaps. But I am thankful for tasty things. And for my wife, and my best friend, and my girlfriend - and thankful that those three are the same person. And I'm thankful for my kids (all four of them, even though we stopped after three :), and for nice breezes on hot days, and warm sunshine on cold days.

And stars - they're very intriguing. And for my salvation, and all the "extra chances" God gave (and keeps on giving) me. And for my friends (like the ultra-talented, super-wise Dean). Ok, gotta run... work tomorrow...

Dean Lusk said...

I realize that there are those who may differ in their belief from some of Tony's comments (for instance, some believe that there was animal death before the fall), but I want to be quick to note that these sorts of issues are, very deliberately, not what I want us to focus on here.

Tony's point is that we should be thankful for all good gifts (even the ones we didn't plan on -- heh...), and it is one that I feel pretty certain we all heartily agree on.

Anonymous said...

Christy said... I had already posted a comment to this blog, but now I see it didn't go through for some reason. What I had said before is that personally I am quite child-like in my prayers throughout the day. I do thank God for the sunshine, the breeze in spring, and so on. Also I recall something that I read many years ago by a stay-at-home mom encouraging readers to thank God while doing daily chores, "Thank you, Lord, that we can afford washing machines", "Thank you, Lord, that I am healthy enough to provide dinner for our family", "Thank you, Lord, that I have strong arms and legs to carry my children". These simple prayers have helped me draw closer to my Father. If we don't thank Him and praise Him for all of the 'small things', then I don't think we will ever be able to do so with the 'big things'. Thanks, Dean.

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