Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science–a Review by Nancy Ellen Hird

Indescribable: 100 Devotions About God and Science is, I think, one of my year’s best discoveries—book-wise. I can’t say enough good things about it. Written by Louie Giglio with Tama Fortner and illustrated by Nicola Anderson, it’s published by Thomas Nelson (2017). The most appropriate age group for this book is, I think, fourth grade through eighth. Younger children would have a lot of difficulty reading it on their own. The scientific facts that each devotion contains would intrigue high schoolers, but the cartoonish illustrations would dampen their enthusiasm for the material.

Each devotion has interesting and sometimes jaw-droppingly fun things to say about the world that God has created, including us. For example, you may have heard that your fingerprints are unique, but did you know that other parts of your body also declare that you are one of a kind? And what is the tallest mountain? If you say Mount Everest, it’s a good guess. It reaches the highest point on earth. But the inactive volcano, Mauna Kea, is actually the tallest when you consider it from its base on the ocean floor to its top. Do you know how seahorses use their tails? What causes the aurora borealis? Is a camel born with a hump and what is a camel’s hump made of? The most energy-efficient light in the world is . . .?

You might be tempted to rush now and google the answers to these questions. But don’t do it.  Because if you only find out the answer to the questions, you will miss reading that God has given the seahorse what it needs and that He will do the same for you.

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And while googling might explain aurora borealis, it won’t remind you that God’s wondrous light is not just in the sky. It can also be in us. You and your child don’t want to miss these connections. And you don’t want to miss the 98 other cool scientific topics that the authors have written about and then use to help us grasp God’s greatness and His love.

BTW, have you been wondering what the other unique parts of your body are? Well . . . I’m not going to say. But I will tell you that Giglio (after telling the reader) goes on to write that we may sometimes feel like we are just another person in a crowd and that there’s nothing special about us. But that, he writes, is wrong. We are each unique and what’s more God sees us that way. (I just thought you might need to know that today.)

Each devotion begins with an appropriate Scripture and ends with a short prayer. I typed in what looked like an average length devotion to get a word count—it ran 279 words.

Nicola Anderson has created cute and lively drawings to go along with the text. There are also photographs of all kinds of wonders—stars, close-ups of insects, animals, etc.

I think kids will love reading these fact-filled, meaningful devotions and will love sharing the information with others. You might consider asking your child to choose one of the devotions and read it after dinner. (Don’t be surprised if your child wants to read more than one to you.)

As I read through this book, my sense of awe toward our God grew. The insecurities that often nip at my heels weakened. They were replaced by the thought that I and the universe in which I live are fearfully and wonderfully made, and that the God who made it is wonderfully wise and indescribably loving.

Nancy Ellen Hird is a mom, a writer and a credentialed teacher. (She taught seventh grade and preschool.) I Get a Clue and We All Get a Clue are her most recent works. These novels are mysteries for kids, ages 10 to 13.

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