Earth day was this week. I usually don’t think much about it to be honest, but there have been various circumstances in my life lately that contributed to a little reflection on the subject.
I can remember years ago, in college (my searching era), sitting propped up on a log next to a lake where I was watching the sun set. I wrote a long journal entry about the experience, but this one section recently caught my attention: “Though alone, I do not feel it because my God has created me to know him in such a way. I recognize the grace he has poured out before me as his choice to reveal such glory. I would have been blessed by this scene simply being black and white and never would have known differently to feel robbed; instead he painted with colors like no artist could duplicate, and splashed them over his earth out of his good pleasure.” It pleases God to reveal beauty. And the beauty we’re surrounded by points to him. It gives us glorious glimpses into the eternal, it reflects his nature, and beckons us to him.
Our world is one of God’s most beautiful resources – used to give us a glorious glimpse into who he is. He spoke his commands and oceans were formed, stars were splashed across the night, and the beauty of the first sunset was reflected upon the sky; and his fingerprints were left upon it all. I believe that out of his deepest desire for us to know him that he allows an ache in each of us that searches for fulfillment which can only be found in him – and he leaves traces of himself all over our lives pointing to the solution. We can’t even look out our window without seeing evidence of his existence. Creation points to a creator.
“For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” – Romans 1:20
God is so intentional. Everything matters. Everything means something. And I believe there were so many facets to his intentions with creation. I mean, creation reflects the creator, right? So when we consider how BIG this universe is, it gives us insight into the one who imagined and formed it. Check out this video by Francis Chan entitled “The Awe Factor of God” .
And what about what creation means to us? I listened to a sermon recently by Louie Giglio, who makes a really interesting point – if you look at the story of creation (Genesis 1); you realize that this is God’s story. This story that we’re in, that we’re a part of (whether we acknowledge it or not), is ultimately about God – not us. We (man and woman) were created on the 6th day of the 7 days of creation, and the 7th day was a day of rest. There was a lot going on before we were around.
Kind of humbling. All the while we’re busy asking questions, demanding clear explanations, and requiring that we are able to wrap our minds around every aspect of… well, everything – including creation. And all we have to do is look into God’s Word to us to see that well, it’s not about us – it’s so much bigger. And though I’m a firm believer that we have plenty of evidence to support an educated commitment to a creator, I also think we often ignore the fact that if we were able to fully comprehend how and why God did everything that he did, he probably wouldn’t be big enough to be the kind of God we would worship, right? Yet God is SO GOOD to us, because he lovingly allows us to explore, he patiently points us towards him in so many ways, but I think so often we are so busy analyzing that we forget to simply look out the window and examine the evidence of a creator. He has given us the gift of creation, of this world that we live in to point to who he is. He didn’t have to. He’s God. The creator is not obligated to explain himself to the created, a potter does not have to explain to the clay why he formed it and shaped it in such a way – it was his right to do what he pleased. But out of God’s great love for us, he does a lot of enlightening anyway.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. – Psalm 19:1-2
Now, I’m admittedly a feeler. And I feel God in the outdoors; but please do not brush this off if you’re not an emotional person. Consider truth – even truth that stretches you. You don’t have to be a feeler to observe that God proclaims himself to us, he is not silent; and we are wise to take into account the many ways that he makes himself known. Remember this – God is God. He is not obligated to reveal himself. He wants to. So enjoy the glorious glimpses, but don’t stop there – it would be like hearing the description of a flower without ever seeing its blooms, inhaling its’ fragrance, or touching its soft petals. Creation points us to God, and the ultimate purpose is for his glory – so that we might know him. There is a big difference between knowing about God, seeing his finger print, acknowledging his presence, and in being in relationship with him – knowing him. You know how sometimes when you’re dreaming you don’t even realize it until you’re awake? How terribly sad would it be if we were satisfied with our dreams only to miss out on real life?! Or what if we followed the clues on a treasure map to the treasure and stopped there saying, “Wow! Those clues were AWESOME!” But we never opened the treasure. We would have missed the point, right? And if we think this world contains power and beauty… just wait until we engage with its creator.