Monday, February 17, 2014

How does this work?

Our University is closed this morning. I have the place pretty much to myself.  No students are visible anywhere.  I know my 0800 Measurement students are grieving the loss of today's knowledge.  we are closed because the nighttime temperatures were near freezing and we had precipitation off and on all night and this morning.  Out my window I see the large flat puddles in the grass indicating the soil is saturated.

When I arrived before 0800 this morning I notice the grass in front of our building had at least a couple dozen robins scattered across it, like crumbs on an empty cornbread plate.  Now as I look out I can see a robin bathing in a large puddle of what has to be coooold water! How can they do that?  How can they live through the night, summer and winter, hot and cold, with just one set of clothing?

Seeing this reminds me of being in Goosebay, Labrador, early one spring, or maybe the end of winter.  The snow was melting in places but only during the warmest part of the day.  there was mud and puddles everywhere.  There in the street, sitting in a puddle, was about a 2-3 year old boy... wearing nothing but a diaper.  he was playing away, oblivious to the cold and to my shock.  He was just like that robin.

Another time I was deer hunting in below-freezing temperatures and a "wintry-mix" was falling in the woods.  Out walks this doe right in front of me, with ice covering the hair on her back.  She was feeding along in total comfort!

William Cowper wrote it this way in a famous hymn:

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill
He treasures up His bright designs
And works His sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,
But trust Him for His grace;
Behind a frowning providence
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding every hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flower.

Blind unbelief is sure to err
And scan His work in vain;
God is His own interpreter,
And He will make it plain.

Though I am a thermophysiologist, though I understand the powers of metabolic heat and insulation, though I can explain how deer and robins stay warm; yet still I marvel at "His bright designs", and "...scan His work in vain".

I do look forward to the day when, "He will make it plain."

Come quickly L^rd!

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