God’s Splendor Revealed
A devotional by Karen Marstaller
Recently my son and his wife went camping in Washington state, visiting many of the national parks, hiking numerous trails, and taking spectacular photos. One place they visited was a series of tidal pools. In order to see the sea creatures left behind as the tide ran out, they rose super early in the morning to explore.
All kinds of extraordinary animals were left to delight those who ventured into the early morning chill to photograph the wonders of God’s world. Back at home, the grandkids and I waited eagerly each day to see what marvels Mom and Dad would send. When they visited the tidal pools and sent us the pictures they had taken, we all stared in awe at the incredible images of a minute segment of this beautiful world.
One creature made an indelible impression on me—a starfish. He was a rather plump little fellow, almost as bright red as a strawberry, and it looked as though he was studded with pearls of different sizes in a gorgeous, intricate design. In one of the videos he looked to be dancing in the water, but after the water stilled and he became aware of his audience, he curled up into a defensive position. That’s when the most astonishing picture was taken. With his five arms tucked around and under him, his body shaped itself into a heart with the “beads” making an even more beautiful design than we had seen before.
It reminds me that as God created all the sea creatures in Genesis, His creative force was gearing up for the last day of creation when He made man and woman in His own image. As lovely as that starfish is, God’s pinnacle of creation was centered on Adam and Eve, and in turn, on all of us who follow them as members of humanity.
We all carry the imprint of our heavenly Father, the Creator God who took the trouble to fashion a tiny starfish in a remote tidal pool in upstate Washington and seen by only a handful of people before dawn one morning in the middle of August.
God fashioned the first man, Adam, and out of Adam’s rib He created the woman, Eve. The same intention and deliberation that God used to create a rarely seen sea creature also went into the designing of these two, the father and mother of us all. I don’t know what color Adam’s skin was, nor do I know what color Eve’s was. God deliberately didn’t tell us what color they were, but I know they had to be beautiful because our Father declared they were “very good.”
The glorious truth we face now is the fact that the Father’s same incredible, intentional, creative artistry went into designing us, too. Each human is made in God’s image, and He shapes every one of us to reflect Him. Granted, we sin. Granted, we fall way short of His desire for us. But Jesus’ redemptive death on the cross guarantees that His children, those who accept His gift of salvation, are covered with the magnificent skin of Jesus’ righteousness.
In my imagination, Jesus’ righteousness is a deep, sacrificial red, dotted with lustrous pearls symbolizing His perfect sinlessness. With His righteousness wrapped around us, we dance in the waters of our lives, and when times are hard, we curl up under His protective arms.
Either way, the joy of His salvation gives us life and peace and perfect love. Because of Jesus, we are beautiful in God’s sight, and we delight Him with our obedience to His Word, and with our love for others.
Let’s Pray: Father God, show us how to be faithful to You, full of love for our brothers and sisters, and hopeful as we wait for Your perfect will to be made perfect in us. And while we wait for You, please show us how to dance as we joyfully live out the salvation You have given us. Let us find peace and safety in the palm of Your hand, and throughout all our days, please let Your glory shine on each of the beautifully splendid children You created. In Jesus’s Name we pray, Amen.
She is grateful that the Lord has provided so many ways for humankind to stay in community, even when we are all hunkering down in our homes.
Karen says, “In this unprecedented time, we know that He has prepared us for such a time as this! To God be all the glory!”
You can reach Karen by emailing her at this address: firstname.lastname@example.org