Echoes From the Campfire

My God is all around me, in the sunshine, in the air, in the humming bees and whispering leaves and murmuring water.  I feel him everywhere, and in me, too!”
              –Zane Grey  (Wanderer of the Wasteland)

    “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.  Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.”
              –Psalm 19:1-2  (NLT)
Don’t be overwhelmed, neither Zane Grey nor I have gone New Age.  I would say in regard to the quotation that God is not in everything, but that He is the Creator of all.  However, He can be seen in His creation, and He certainly does fill the hearts of believers.  He is near and in us, yet He hovers over His entire creation.

              “Lord of all being, throned afar,
               Thy glory flames from sun and star;
               Center and soul of every sphere,
               Yet to each loving heart how near!”
                      –Oliver Wendell Holmes

We don’t have to fret that our God doesn’t hear us, or that He is afar off.  He is the One who gives us each day, and in that day prepares our way.  In the darkness of night we do not have to fear for He is with us there as well.  No matter where we are, what time of day it is, or what season we may find ourselves, God is there.

              “Sun of our life, Thy quickening ray
               Sheds on our path the glow of day;
               Star of our hope, Thy softened light
               Cheers the long watches of the night.

               Our midnight is Thy smile withdrawn;
               Our noontide is Thy gracious dawn;
               Our rainbow arch Thy mercy’s sign;
               All, save the clouds of sin, are Thine!”

This hymn, written on the eve of those dark days of the Civil War on issues that were tearing our nation apart.  In the midst of the coming darkness, this hymn, by Holmes points to the love and the ever-presence of our heavenly Father.  We are nothing in ourselves, but He brings His light into our lives.

               “Lord of all life, below, above,
                Who light is truth, whose warmth is love,
                Before Thy ever-blazing throne
                We ask no luster of our own.”

In the last two stanzas there is the term, “truth”.  People were confused about the truth regarding the future of the nation.  They were not confused, however, about the truth of who God was.  He is a consuming fire, a “holy light,” a “heavenly flame.”  He is to be worshiped “with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29, HCSB)

               “Grant us Thy turth to make us free,
                And kindling hearts that burn for Thee;
                Till all Thy living altars claim
                One holy light, one heavenly flame.”

It is His truth that sets us free.  Jesus declared, that He was the “truth…”  I wonder if this hymn had any influence on the words written just a few years later by Julia Ward Howe, when she wrote, “His truth is marching on”?