Microscopic Giants

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The Avenue of the Giants winds its way through 31 miles of majestic redwood forest, showcasing ancient trees of such grandeur that they almost defy description. 

 

On a trip back to this land of my birth I joined the tourists, gawking in wonder at the immensity of these giants; many reaching so high into the sky that you can barely see the top; others lying fallen, stretching hundreds of feet across the ground. Yet even in death they remain magnificent; covered with moss and ferns, their decaying matter nourishing the earth, providing a safe haven for new seedlings or homes for small creatures, and boasting upturned root systems so huge that one feels miniscule in comparison.   Yet even these giants are microscopic compared to the One who created them.

 

 Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?   Who has measuredthe Spirit of the Lord, or what man shows him his counsel?   Whom did he consult, and who made him understand?  Who taught him the path of justice, and taught him knowledge, and showed him the way of understanding?  Behold, the nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as the dust on the scales; behold, he takes up the coastlands like fine dust.  Lebanon would not suffice for fuel, nor are its beasts enough for a burnt offering.  All the nations are as nothing before him, they are accounted by him as less than nothing and emptiness.  Isaiah 40:12-17

 

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. John 12:24

 

For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. Romans 1:20

And Day and Night Shall Not Cease

The Mad River wasn’t always angry.  During the summer it might dwindle down so far that we could wade across in a just few inches of water; or hop from rock to rock, never even removing our shoes.   In the shadow of the railroad trestle we’d play in the water until a logging train came by—then we’d stop and wave at the conductors who would wave back and give a loud whistle blast in return.

But the Mad River lost its temper during the week of Christmas 1964.  In the midst of a 100-year flood it joined with all the other rivers of the Pacific Northwest to rage over its banks, engulfing the surrounding land with wet devastation.  From our hilltop vantage point all we could see was water with a few rooftops and telephone poles sticking up here and there—for miles and miles the entire low-lying area around the Humboldt Bay became a vast sea in which hundreds of dairy cattle were doomed as they floated out into the ocean; and at least a dozen communities were completely wiped out or forever altered in the Redwood Empire.   But as bad as it was, there was once a flood that was much, much worse—the one we read about in Genesis 7 when God’s anger was unleashed against a wicked world and, the flood was on the earth forty days… The waters prevailed and greatly increased on the earth…and the mountains were covered…Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive.

I returned to that hilltop a few years ago and gazed out at lush green dairy land, with a scattering of cows peacefully munching the grass; and a pleasant walking/biking path traversing the old railroad trestle.  I pondered God’s mercy and remembered his promise after the biblical flood, “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.  While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:21-22)