One of the most enjoyable vacations I have taken was when Bonnie and I went on a self-directed lighthouse tour during the summer of 2007. After attending Dr. Beth Boyce’s graduation ceremony, Bonnie and I traveled up the East Coast from Florida to North Carolina stopping to see and climb various lighthouses. Although I fear water, I do love lighthouses. Bonnie was a real trooper as she not only viewed the lighthouses, but climbed everyone we could.
We saw some more famous lighthouses, like Cape Hatteras and St. Augustine, but the one lighthouse I remember most was Jupiter Lighthouse in Jupiter, Florida. The picture above captures a panorama of some of the lessons we learned that day about the wonder of God’s Creation. I came away in awe of how God has so intricately designed the world for us.
Our instructor that day was a retired high school history professor. The narrow ledge around the beacon became his classroom. He started by telling us that the white house over Bonnie’s shoulder had once belonged to Perry Como, the famous crooner. Once that fact had sunk in, the lesson on Creation started.
The instructor first talked about the river that runs through the Atlantic Ocean. The 50-mile-wide river known as the Gulf Stream carries warm water from the Gulf of Mexico up the Atlantic Coastline of the United States from Florida to Maine. In the picture, the Gulf Stream was located about ten miles off shore. Enemy submarines in World War II were kept at bay by the strength of the current.
The Gulf Stream connects with North Atlantic Drift sending the river to the shores of Great Britain and Ireland. It is also easily reachable from Spain or Portugal. If you were in a sailing ship, the current and the wind would have carried the ship at a minimum of 5 miles per hour from the shores of Europe to the coastline of the United States. Can you guess how Columbus and the earlier settlers of the British Colonies ended up in Massachusetts or North Carolina or Florida? God brought them there! They sailed on the very river He had created for the journey.
The inland water to the right of Bonnie in the picture is the Intracoastal Waterway. It is the waterway that runs just inside the coastal line of the U.S. from Maine all the way to Texas. Once in the safety of the waterway, discoverers were able to explore this new land without fear of danger from raging seas. Guess how the Pilgrims ended up in Roanoke, Virginia? God brought them there! The settled up and down the waterway looking for places to establish a new life as Christians, without the fear of religious persecution.
The more the instructor talked, the more I saw American History come alive from God’s perspective. God even designed the currents of the ocean to fulfill His Will.
Then the instructor pointed out the change of color in the water that was obvious if you look just between us in the picture. The water coming in from the Atlantic was a much darker green than the inland water. The instructor pointed out that the darker water was salt water and the lighter water was fresh water. Every day, the ebb and flow of the ocean was a part of the cycle of new life.
The teacher pointed to the plant life on the far river bank. It was covered with moss-like plants. Although crabs, lobsters, etc. are salt water creatures, they are hatched in fresh water. At birth, they are too light to be carried out to sea. They feed off the moss-like plants while they grow and are protected from predators by the plant covering. When the creatures are ready to begin the next stage of their life, the fresh water current carries them out into the ocean.
Finally, the teacher pointed to a bridge in front of us. It was where the first radar was placed to detect those enemy submarines during WW II. It was a key factor in turning the tide of the War.
I remember climbing down the steps of Jupiter Lighthouse and thinking of how God is not only visible in the obvious things of life, but also He is God of the details.