We offer here a glimpse of several photos submitted for the 2016 Images of Creation photo contest, combined with thoughts from Ellen White excerpted from the book Child Guidance, pages 53–58. Nature is indeed a lesson book for young and old who are willing to learn from the Creator. Along with the image on the inside cover of each printed Gleaner this year, watch for the Photo of the Week and gallery at gleanernow.com.
"Wherever we turn, we hear the voice of God and behold His handiwork. From the solemn roll of the deep-toned thunder and old ocean’s ceaseless roar, to the glad songs that make the forests vocal with melody, nature’s ten thousand voices speak His praise. In earth and sea and sky, with their marvelous tint and color, varying in gorgeous contrast or blended in harmony, we behold His glory. The everlasting hills tell of His power. The trees that wave their green banners in the sunlight, and the flowers in their delicate beauty, point to their Creator. The living green that carpets the brown earth tells of God’s care for the humblest of His creatures. The caves of the sea and the depths of the earth reveal His treasures. He who placed the pearls in the ocean and the amethyst and chrysolite among the rocks is a lover of the beautiful. The sun rising in the heavens is a representative of Him who is the life and light of all that He has made. All the brightness and beauty that adorn the earth and light up the heavens speak of God."
"Shall we, then, in the enjoyment of His gifts, forget the Giver? Let them rather lead us to contemplate His goodness and His love. Let all that is beautiful in our earthly home remind us of the crystal river and green fields, the waving trees and living fountains, the shining city and the white-robed singers, of our heavenly home — that world of beauty which no artist can picture, no mortal tongue describe."
"Who gives us the sunshine which makes the earth bring forth and bear? and who the fruitful showers? Who has given us the heavens above and the sun and stars in the heavens? Who gave you your reason, and who keeps watch over you from day to day? ... Every time we look at the world, we are reminded of the mighty hand of God which called it into existence. The canopy over our head, and the earth beneath covered with a carpet of green, call to remembrance the power of God and also His loving-kindness."
"The same power that upholds nature is working also in man. The same great laws that guide alike the star and the atom control human life. The laws that govern the heart’s action, regulating the flow of the current of life to the body, are the laws of the mighty Intelligence that has the jurisdiction of the soul. From Him all life proceeds. Only in harmony with Him can be found its true sphere of action."
"To him who learns thus to interpret its teachings, all nature becomes illuminated; the world is a lesson book, life a school. The unity of man with nature and with God, the universal dominion of law, the results of transgression, cannot fail of impressing the mind and molding the character. These are lessons that our children need to learn."
"Constant contact with the mystery of life and the loveliness of nature, as well as the tenderness called forth in ministering to these beautiful objects of God’s creation, tends to quicken the mind and refine and elevate the character."
"We are not merely to tell the child about these creatures of God’s. The animals themselves are to be his teachers. The ants teach lessons of patient industry, of perseverance in surmounting obstacles, of providence for the future. And the birds are teachers of the sweet lesson of trust. Our heavenly Father provides for them; but they must gather the food, they must build their nests and rear their young. Every moment they are exposed to enemies that seek to destroy them. Yet how cheerily they go about their work! How full of joy are their little songs!"