Apr 20, 2011

all of nature declares . . .

It appears that spring has finally sprung in Seattle ... and I, for one, couldn't be more happy! For me, spring symbolizes fresh beginnings and new hope, especially after a long, dreary winter (both literally and also spiritually). I don't know of a sweeter sound than that of the glorious music of nature's symphony. Birds chirping joyfully atop blossomed branches. Rushing rivers dancing against rocks. There is just so much peace and joy in these sounds!

I spent almost an hour walking along a beautiful trail in Covington/Kent area, which is filled with rustic barns and green pastures -- my kinda place! I wondered as I wandered about the beauty of the Creator's masterpiece and verses filled my mind as I passed blooming flowers, quiet ponds, lusch grass fields, melodious sonnets of birds high in the green trees, and lazy horses basking in the sunlight. All declaring glory to the Creator by fulfilling their individual purpose.

So I thought I would share some of the lessons that I have learned about the Artist  from His masterpeice:

The Creator provides for His beloved creation.
In the book of Matthew, the flowers of the fields are regarded as being adorned more majestically than all of King Solomon's splendor. Remember Solomon? Visitors to his glorious palace could not even remark on half of all the beauty within his kindgdom. Yet, the best-dressed characters in his kingdom had to be the brilliantly colored flowers in the fields, untouched my man, but cared for by the ultimate Gardener.  Robert J. Morgan in My All in All brilliantly shares the contrast:

"The richness of [the flower's] crimson petals outshone anything in Solomon's closet. It's velvety feel smoother than Solomon's silk, and the splash of gold in its center was purer than his crown. The intricate design of the flower surpassed the abilities of the royal tailors
... the lily's fragrance sweeter than Solomon's perfume.

The same God who dresses the flowers and feeds the birds knows our needs too. He knows when we're money-short and bone-tired. He knows when we need food and rainment ...

The billions of flowers blooming around the globe are preachers with a single message: "Don't worry! God cares for our needs."

Creation may wither away, but the Creator will never fade away or fail us.

"The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever."
{Isaiah 40:8}
Those glorious flowers I just talked about? Yes, in the dead of a dry autumn, they eventually wither away. That does not mean that the Creator was unfaithful. It means that creation was not made to last forever. But one thing will remain: the Truth of God's Word; His love demonstrated on a wooden cross that would forever remind us that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And when we accept this Truth, we will not wither or fade because of His life in us.

Creation glorifies and worships the Creator by fulfilling its individual purpose He's assigned to it.
Rick Warren wrote in A Purpose Driven Life: "The way a person can bring glory to God is to fulfill his God-ordained purpose on earth, just as nature does the same by fulfilling its purpose." Pastor Warren went on in his book to unfold five purposes that God has for us:
       1. Worshipping God
       2. Loving Believers
       3. Becoming Christ-like
       4. Serving others with your God-given gifts
       5. Sharing Christ with others

We often categorize worship as singing songs to God, but this is just a small portion of the meaning of worship. Fulfilling His purposes for your life is a means of worship; joyfully and humbly answering His call upon your life is a lifesong that is sweeter than any musical note can produce. The heart of worship is Christ.

Look at nature. The reason we find so much beauty in it is because it is all proclaiming God's goodness.

The flowers of the field adorned in beauty
teach us not to worry

The rushing waterfalls going lower and lower
teach us humility and surrender.

The birds of the air
teach us that there is always a reason to sing.

The brilliant hues of a rainbow
remind us of God's faithfulness to His promises.

The yellow daffodils
bring hope after winter that spring will surely follow.

I'll leave you with these beautiful words regarding the Divine Hand upon nature:
    God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone,
    but on trees and flowers and clouds and stars.
    {Martin Luther}

    To sit in the shade on a fine day and look upon verdure
    is the most perfect refreshment.
      {Jane Austen}

    To me a lush carpet of pine needles or spongy grass is more welcome
    than the most luxurious Persian rug. 
    {Helen Keller}

    How many stanzas in the springtime breeze?
    How plenty the raindrops? As He doth please.
    There is no meter and there is no rhyme,
    Yet God's poems always read in perfect time.
    {Astrid Alauda, "Poems on Nature"}

    As in the early morning
    The snowy mountain peaks
    look up to greet the dawning
    So my heart longs and seeks
    To see Thy face
    And glow with grace
    {"Mountain of Spices" by Hannah Hurnard}

    FYI: Here are some of my favorite books that use aspects of nature as metaphors for lessons about God. I love these books and have learned so much from them!

    • Hinds' Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard
    • Mountain of Spices by Hannah Hurnard
    • The Basket of Flowers by Christoph von Shmid
    • A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller

    [The beautiful trail I visited today, Soos Creek Trail]

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    Elle Alice