by Maurice Hamel
"See how the lilies of the field grow … not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Matt. 6:28-9
Our senses - sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell all can respond to the beauty of form and symmetry, tone and harmony and all the richness in scent and color in creation. Yet, around us we also see nature as scarred and battered amid the elaborate, complex design of the Creator. The lushness of Eden, the harmony of creation, the beauty of a summer day, those things have become tarnished, weathered and moth-eaten.
Because the world around us makes no sense, I prayed like the blind man in Mark 10, "Rabbi, I want to see". Then I glimpsed the world a bit more as God sees it. I saw the Grand Canyon as a garden destroyed. This huge erosional scar on the face of the earth is a reminder to us of the judgment upon our world. A barren, impassible ravine is cut into bare rock in a world where there once existed a lushness and bounty. The Grand Canyon is stunning to see, yet it is a stark reminder of the massive destruction of God's judgment on this fallen world.
How do we respond to this silent warning of God's fierce anger? We call these hundreds of square miles of rock devoid of soil a National Park for its vastness and wonder. We flock to it for its beauty. Even the destructive forces of nature are awe-inspiring. As in all that God does, it is vast, beautiful and breath-taking. God shows his majesty and extravagance even in the desolation that has come upon this world, whether in the bare rock of the Grand Canyon and Yosemite, or the frozen calm that follows a blizzard. The creation is magnificent, even in its fallen condition.
We feel our smallness and wonder at the world's complexity and magnitude. God has made it obvious that random chance could not have designed and constructed so elaborate and intricate a system. He has made his involvement in his handiwork obvious, yet still we fail to see his compassionate warnings to us with such obvious reminders.
We wonder at the beauty we see in creation and at the intricate and extravagant way that it all fits together. It is beyond what our hands could ever mold or our mind ever imagine. Through the creation God blesses us with his favor. Just as he clothes the lilies, he also allows us to prosper, even as we are in rebellion against him. Nature's designer and creator shows us that the meaning of creation is more than competition, suffering for a brief time and then death. Our life is not only for the passing on of our genes to future generations, as some joyless scientists would have us believe. If that were the case, the world could have been created colorless, merely in black and white. But our extravagant heavenly Father has provided us with so much more than that.
© Maurice Hamel
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