Photos and writings by June Friesen. Scripture from The Message Translation.
Recently my husband and I were at a riparian area where there are hiking trails as well as several water areas. Various forms of wildlife make this area their home and on any given day the variety will be different as well as the same. There were a couple of very notable phenomena on this particular day – the beautiful clarity of the skies with various clouds and then the sheer quiet stillness of the water. There was so much to observe, to embrace and also to listen to. You will find a few poses of this girl here and there throughout this post. It seemed she was trying to communicate something with me, very likely “How many more photos are you going to take of me?”
First of all let us consider that it was God who indeed created the birds – every kind, every species – some in water and some that were on land and also many of them to fly.
God spoke: “Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life!
Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!”
God created the huge whales,
all the swarm of life in the waters,
And every kind and species of flying birds.
God saw that it was good.
God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean!
Birds, reproduce on Earth!”
It was evening, it was morning— Day Five.
When I read the creation story it always says God saw it, He looked at His work of the day and in each observation of His creation He said ‘it was good.’ Whether in nature being plant or animal, He did not necessarily create each thing to live forever but He did create them to reproduce, and to reproduce their own kind. While I have photos of ducks here, there are many birds that inhabit the waters, each one being unique.
I have a couple more passages of Scripture, one from the book of Matthew and one from the Psalms.
“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about
what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion.
There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer
appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and
unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count
far more to him than birds.
Now some verses from Psalm 104 –
You set earth on a firm foundation
so that nothing can shake it, ever.
You blanketed earth with ocean,
covered the mountains with deep waters;
Then you roared and the water ran away—
your thunder crash put it to flight.
Mountains pushed up, valleys spread out
in the places you assigned them.
You set boundaries between earth and sea;
never again will earth be flooded.
You started the springs and rivers,
sent them flowing among the hills.
All the wild animals now drink their fill,
wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Along the riverbanks the birds build nests,
ravens make their voices heard.
You water the mountains from your heavenly reservoirs;
earth is supplied with plenty of water.
You make grass grow for the livestock,
hay for the animals that plow the ground.
Oh yes, God brings grain from the land,
wine to make people happy,
Their faces glowing with health,
a people well-fed and hearty.
GOD’s trees are well-watered.
As we read these verses, we see the value of water in all things. It is something that is necessary for anything that is living, whether it is a living organism or a creature that lives and moves upon the earth and that includes you and I.
In today’s world there is great concern about the availability of water, not just water but I might add clean water that is okay for us to drink for hydration. Over the past twelve months in Arizona where I live there has been great concern about the availability of water as the reservoirs are getting very low due to the lack of rain in so much of the country. In some countries/continents water has been a very precious commodity for many, many years, but our nation has been very blessed with water for the most part. In most areas we have had adequate rainfall until recent months.
In the beginning I mentioned that we were hiking when I took these photos. Since covid began my husband and I have made it a priority to go out in nature and hike at least once a week; often our hike takes us to a lake or an area where there is some kind of water feature. Water does not only provide for the birds, animals and plants in nature but it also provides opportunity for sports such as boating, kayaking, sailing, fishing etc. So my friends, gratitude for water covers a wide variety of opportunities for which we need to be grateful.
I invite you to join with me in the following prayer:
GOD, THANK YOU FOR THE WATER
God, I thank you for the water that provides for the living things in this world –
First there are the many, many trees that stand so strong and tall
That give shelter to birds, bugs, animals and even to humans at times;
Thank you for the many, many grasses that blanket the grounds in so many places,
In so many ways, in so many varieties
Creatively providing shelter for some creatures as well as foods for a variety of animals,
birds and bugs;
Thank you for the many, many flowers that dot our pathways here and there with
beautiful shapes, sizes and colors –
Some seem to be but for beauty, others hold medicinal qualities, while others also provide
seeds for food and pollen for the insects to gather –
God, we know that water is a number one necessity for all of these wonderful plants to
We are so thankful for the rainfall and the snow that comes to bless our earth with
moisture so needed.
God, I thank you for the water that You have provided in the underground springs
That bubbles up with fresh, clean, sparkling water to wet our parched tongues,
That trickles from our faucets and showerheads, bathing our bodies, bringing a freshness
so clean –
Thank you for the many wells that also yield water –
There are so many places that share this resource so valuable.
God, I thank you for the engineering of dams and turbines –
That collect the waters and use it to bring us a commodity called electricity
That many of us feel we could never live without.
Our hearts are repentant for the many times we take our water for granted,
We grumble if the water is hot, if the water is not,
We grumble if the electricity is not, we take it for granted when it is on –
God forgive us for our selfish thoughts,
Forgive us for our grumbling hearts,
Please put within us now a fresh ‘thank you’
As we take a fresh drink of water just now.
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