Close Calls with Nature

A photo by Thomas Lefebvre.

An excerpt from Earth Psalms, available October 4:

From the microscopic complexities of an atom to the immense, expanding universe with nebulae, black holes, and galaxies, God shows His power and majesty, His attention to detail, and His great and unfailing love for us.

I’ve never had a close encounter with something that could kill me. My parents taught me and my brother to be cautious and respectful when out in the wilds. The closest I ever came to a wild bear was at Yellowstone when we were camping in a trailer. A mother bear came into the camp with her three cubs. She was raiding the garbage cans. They were below the ground with a hatch that could be opened. Mama Grizzly hooked a claw in one and sent it flying. The cubs scrambled in the scattering trash. After a feast, they wandered away and we all breathed easier.

Rick used to go fishing in British Columbia. He took friends and our sons with him. Everyone walked cautiously in the woods and kept eyes and ears open. They never encountered a grizzly, but they did have other close calls. One of the stories I share in Earth Psalms is about a fishing trip Rick took with our oldest son. They were both so excited to get going that they jumped in the boat and headed out first thing in the morning. After a successful few hours, a dense fog bank rolled in, so thick they couldn’t see past their bow. When Rick went to get the compass to navigate through the fog, he realized that in his excitement, he had forgotten to check for the compass and map. You’ll have to read the Earth Psalms devotional to find out what he did (and didn’t do) before making it back safely.

On another boating venture, Rick encountered a pod of orcas. He joined them for a while, until one very large orca came close and rose out of the water high enough to look him in the eye. Rick got the message. “Playtime is over. Back off or die.”

Our God is not tame. Neither is the world He created.

Have you had any close calls with nature? What do stories like these tell you about God’s power?