Several days ago, I went fishing with a guide I know in West Virginia. As you may already know, the town of White Sulphur Springs was devastated by flooding that occurred last June 23rd and the area is recovering, but still reeling from the shock of the disaster. Homes are being rebuilt after being declared clear of mold and most folks who had to live in trailers or campers are finally getting back into their homes – or new homes as the case may be.
It was in this state of mind that I was asked to go fishing about 40 minutes outside of White Sulphur Springs Tuesday afternoon. I have gone out with James 5 or 6 times and we are the same age so it makes for a great time together – talking about our families, where we are in our lives and God’s bounty. James has had a tough winter, what with the devastation in the area and all that he has overseen in relief efforts and charities helping in the area. He told me stories of people who narrowly escaped with their lives and also showed me the home of a man who lost his life in the flood as he successfully saved his wife and daughter. It was a sobering discussion today.
When we arrived at the stream he had chosen, one couldn’t help but behold the beauty of this place in the middle of nowhere. A beautiful stream running through the woods with riffles and stones strewn through the middle of the water. It was gorgeous. And it was a wonderful day to be holding a fly rod and admiring the work of God. Almost nothing could be better. James is a laid back sort of guy, unlike the way I’m wired and it was terrific to let his peace and serenity just flow over me.
And then the day got even better… I felt the tug on the fly rod and before I knew it, I had a beautiful 5.5# rainbow trout on the line. Fifteen minutes later, I landed him and quickly released him back to the stream. The most magnificent rainbow I have ever seen, and just when I was thanking God for the good fortune, another fish struck and I couldn’t believe it when I landed a golden trout – I had never even seen one let alone catch one! It was breathtaking! And although the afternoon was filled with catch and release trout, those two specific fish made the entire afternoon worth the effort.
When you see the beauty of nature and the creativity of God’s handiwork, how anybody can question the existence of God is beyond me. I got to thinking this afternoon about the book of Genesis and the creation of the heavens and the earth. The theme of the book is about “forming and filling.” And if you study the book in detail, you will find that the first several days of creation were about forming the earth and the sky – days and nights, etc. Then, God started filling the creation and that brings us to the verse for this evening.
Moses tells us about day 5 of the creation in Gen. 1:20-21, “And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” That’s what I saw Tuesday – God’s creations filling the expanses of water that He created.
My encouragement this evening is that God created the earth as a “nest” for mankind. A place for Man to commune with God in harmony. My prayer is that you will take a moment or two to appreciate the precious gifts that God has given us in His land and all that goes with it. We have a responsibility to steward this creation as best we can – it’s a legacy that we have borrowed from our children and grandchildren. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…