Thursday, April 8, 2010

All Creatures Great and Small

Yesterday afternoon I took a tour of a stretch of prairie owned by the college where I work. It was an interesting trip. The objective of the trip was to see some little flowers that are the first prairie flowers to bloom in the spring. They had fuzzy little leaves that helped protect them from the morning frosts. According to our guide, these little flowers are only around for a few weeks. I had never seen anything quite like them before. I saw a cactus—I didn't know there was a cactus native to Minnesota—and some other rare plants.We also saw some big holes where a badger had tried to dig some ground squirrels out of their dens. Then we found some pellets under a tree where owls and hawks like to perch, and the guide showed us the ground vole bones inside. I learned about how a glacier passed through the area and why the prairie where we stood was hilly while the surrounding farmland was flat. I noticed how big the sky really was and reveled in the beauty of the big, puffy clouds.

I'm not really a science girl. I don't spend much time thinking about this kind of thing. But being there on that prairie, —seeing those tiny plants, looking at the evidence of unseen animals, noticing the differences in the soil over only a few acres—it really hit home how many tiny details there are in the natural world around me. Most of the time I don't even notice this miraculous complexity.

What really amazes me is that God does notice everything. God understands all the tiny minutiae I generally overlook. In fact, He invented the entire system. I can't even comprehend that. God knows everything there is to know about prairie violets, cumulus clouds, ground voles, and you and me. God takes note of everything, even the things we think are trivial or periphery, and he also knows and remembers everything about us. Jesus told his disciples, "Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. 7Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." (Luke 12:6–7)

The fact that God could create and manage such a wonderful creation makes me feel a lot more secure about the fact that He's watching out for me. If God understands nature, surely He also understands the workings of my complex heart. If he counts sparrows and numbers the hairs on my head, surely He will take good care of my soul. My God love all creatures great and small. That means it's pretty special that my fellow brothers and sisters and I are at the top of His very long list.

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