Read Psalm 148.
Growing up in New England, I learned at an early age that you have to make the most of the weather. There are some people who want to wait until it’s “nice” before going out. But in Connecticut, that would mean staying inside from November through mid-April due to cold and snow, being selective about plans during the rainy, muddy spring months, and avoiding the humidity of the mid-to late-summer.
What I came to appreciate, bundled up and wearing boots, is that each season and weather pattern has its own beauty. Wooded trails in the snow may be more difficult to navigate, but experiencing the awed silence of the world at rest is worth it. Creation reveals its wild heart in between claps of thunder and flashes of lightning, and there’s nothing like the smell of the trees after a good, soaking storm.
Nature has a rhythm and cadence all its own. There is a song being played that our dulled senses can only perceive when we spent time surrounded by the orchestra. The song is not a neutral one. It is at once a ferocious expression of worship and a steady protest anthem:
For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. (Romans 8:19–21)
Things are not as they should be or will be, and all creation knows this. There is an ache and a longing in the natural world all around us, even as the glory of its Creator shines through.
Psalm 148 is a call for all creation to praise Yahweh. From the heights of the supernatural realm to the depths of the sea, from angels to great sea creatures, to cattle and kings, everyone and everything in every realm is to praise the Lord. “Praise the LORD from the heavens…. Praise the LORD from the earth” (vv. 1, 7).
While God is not a part of His creation, He is intimately connected to it. When He fashioned the universe, He was really building the greatest musical supergroup of all time. Everyone and everything is in the band, and the song that’s sung will never end. The music we make in praise to our King is the tune He desires. It was in His mind before the beginning of time.
Right now, creation’s choir is waiting for some of its missing players, and the curse has left us a bit out of tune. Some are even attempting to play a different song entirely. But one day, the song God has written will ring out from every blade of grass and every bug and beast and, most importantly, from human beings of “every nation, tribe, people and language” (Revelation 7:9).
On that day, Psalm 148 will no longer be necessary. No one will need to be told to praise the Lord. It will come as naturally as breathing. And in their newfound freedom from decay, the trees and the rocks and the rivers will say, “Finally! You’re here to sing with us!”