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Nature is anything but natural

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9 months ago

A few years ago, while visiting my cousin in Southern California, the ocean began to teach me to perceive the supernatural in everything I called natural, to open my eyes to the world God created it to, to re-create in myself. I awaken that admiration I once had. The ocean leaves me speechless more than any other creative work of God in nature.

I say God's creative work with the deepest conviction and witness, because it was - everything and everywhere - conceived, conceived and embodied on the basis of a real, divine idea. As T. M. Moore wrote: “One of the main teachings of Scripture is the teaching that the natural world is not so natural. He is the creative work of a supernatural God. What we so commonly call ‘nature’ is in fact ‘God’s creative work’. ” (T. M. Moore, See Lilies, p. 100)

"Everything God has created he preaches to us, out loud and on all sides."

Nothing we encounter is without purpose, without glory, or just "natural." Perhaps it is easiest for us to notice this purpose and glory in the more grandiose works of creation, such as the oceans, mountains or lions. But according to the teachings of the Scriptures, even birds and lilies teach us about God.

Has the world of nature lost in your eyes something of its former beauty, worthy of your admiration? Have you started to take for granted the things that God brought into existence with his ideas and words and which he still maintains and preserves by his power today? Does any of what God has done still leave you breathless?

There is a deep need for infinity in us

We talked about the oceans. Steve DeWitt beautifully described exactly the way the ocean left me breathless:

"We need infinity. Not as if we could understand it. But only with her did this life gain meaning. That's why I like to walk along the ocean shore. Because, for me, that "infinity" of the ocean that disappears on the horizon by drowning in the sky, is a hint of the eternal God who created both the ocean and the sky to look exactly like that. " (Steve DeWitt, Wide-Eyed, p. 128).

Almost anyone standing in front of the Pacific Ocean can feel humility before its grandiosity. Even mountains usually give us an idea of ​​their beginnings and ends, but the oceans stretch beyond the hazy horizons of our human comprehension abilities, forcing us to acknowledge how small we really are. And as the psalmist sings: There sail the ships, the crocodile whom thou hast made to play therein. ”(Psalm 104: 25-26) - cedars and rays, blue thongs and blue whales, seahorses and great white sharks, all this God created for us could recognize God’s creative power and accept Him as our Creator.

Powerful and tireless ocean waves wash away our illusions about our inviolability and replace them with a sincere confession to God that we are fragile and powerless. His depths, which surpass the power of our understanding, are an indication of how powerful God's creative hands are, how deep His love is (Psalm 33: 7). His shores, on which the water gently tickles our feet, indicate how perfect and caring his Architect is (Proverbs 8:29). He makes His waters so turbulent that only His Son can calm them (Mark 4:39) and me (Isaiah 26: 3).

Do you still pause to admire what God has said or what He has created? Do you want to start from the beginning?

Let the Word open the world

We can begin to see more clearly the beauty of the world as God created it by observing nature in the light of what Scripture tells us about it — in the Psalms and Proverbs of Solomon, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, in the Gospels, and especially in the words of Jesus himself. and in Revelation.

And once again, Moore writes:

“How often the Scriptures call us to use our senses to know and experience the goodness, greatness, and grace of God, and to learn even better how to treat Him. Sparrows, lilies, mountains and rivers; old coins, ruins of ancient towers and cities, abandoned grindstones; wedding and funeral customs of people, giving alms; sounds, tastes and all kinds of sensory feelings - all this and much, much more gives us the opportunity to get acquainted with the plans and ideas of God. But we are too busy, too busy or too upset by the mundaneness of it all, to be ready to think a little deeper about what God is trying to tell us. ” (T. M. Moore, See Lilies, p. 109).

The Psalms are especially filled with streams and valleys, predators and prey, honeycombs and green pastures, the Sun, the Moon and the stars. Try to remove creation from the Psalms and ask yourself what has been lost from the truth, beauty and depth of God's word. If we looked at this world through the eyes of a psalmist, we would recognize God in everything more than we would otherwise.

Every morning, when the sun shines its rays, God wants that huge hot ball, a hundred times bigger than our planet and glowing up to ten thousand degrees, to remind us that He is strong, huge, accessible and radiant with joy and peace.

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the works of his hands are the firmament of heaven. Day proves day, and night proves night. There is no language, nor is there a speech, where their voice would not be heard. Their utterance and their words end up in their land. He placed an apartment on them for the sun; and he comes out of his bedroom like a bridegroom, like a hero, he flows merrily along the way. His going out is at the end of heaven, and his walk is at the end of it; and no one is hidden from his warmth. ”(Psalm 19: 1-6)

"For the Lord God is the sun and shield; the Lord gives grace and glory; it does not deprive those who walk in innocence of any good. ”(Psalm 84:11)

When we look at the stars, scattered across the clear night sky, of which there are about a hundred billion in our galaxy alone, God wants us to see how much He cares about every detail and how personal He is. "(God) chooses a multitude of stars, and calls them all by name" (Psalm 147: 4). Why would He give names to the stars? Not for them (well, they are just stars!), But for us - so that we can know that He knows everything, and therefore knows each of us and is there at our fingertips, especially for those who are broken hearts ( Psalm 147: 3) and guidance (Psalm 147: 6).

When heavy clouds float across the sky above our heads, they are not there to darken our thoughts and upset us. They should direct our attention to heaven, to lift us in the imagination to heights, far above them, all the way to the throne of the merciful and true God. "Lord, thy mercy is toward heaven, and thy truth unto the clouds" (Psalm 36: 5).

When we observe the mountains on the horizon or ride on their cliffs, as we did as a family on vacation this year, we should recognize the creative power of the glorious God. “You are bright; more beautiful than the mountains of the robbers. ”(Psalm 76: 4). Our God is stronger than the mountains (Psalm 104: 32), older than the mountains (Psalm 90: 2), and stronger than the mountains (Psalm 46: 2-3).

When we hear the murmur of a river or stream, it should inspire us to drink from the fountain of God's grace in Christ, from the fountain that will quench every thirst of our souls forever (John 4: 13-14). “They feed on the abundance of your home, and from the stream of your sweetness you feed them. For in you is the source of life, by your light we see light ”(Psalm 36: 8-9). “Let the rivers clap their hands; let them rejoice in the presence of the Lord. for he goes to judge the earth; He will judge the righteous with justice, and with the nations faithfully. ”(Psalm 98: 8-9).

When we come across a rock, too heavy to move and large enough to stand out in the surroundings, its weight and firmness should direct us to a higher reality. Where does the poet look for inspiration to describe everything that God means to him? "O Lord, my city, my refuge, which cannot be overthrown, my deliverer, my God, is a mountain of stone, upon which I fear not evil; protect me, my flowers of salvation, my refuge" (Psalm 18: 2).

Even a hind protruding through the undergrowth announces how deep the pleasure God offers is. “As the hind searches for streams, so my soul seeks you, God! My soul thirsts for God, the living God, when will I come and show myself to the face of God? ” (Psalm 42: 1-2). "This God encircles me with strength, and makes me a faithful path. He gives me legs like a deer, and sets me on high ”(Psalm 18:33).

"The works of God's creation bring us closer to God's perfection in a visible, concrete, and definite way," writes Joe Rigney. "They do not allow God's attributes and qualities to remain abstract concepts, because it is impossible for us to love the list of qualities." (Earthly Things, p. 65). Everything that God has created from all sides he preaches to us out loud. Yet we often walk through nature with our heads bowed, our eyes fixed on our phones, ignoring nature's testimonies of God's love and greatness.

There is hope, and it will always be there for the view that is currently blurred. Creation will never cease to proclaim the perfection of our Emperor and will never exhaust all that makes him perfect.

Therefore, give yourself the opportunity to stop, to humbly and admiringly observe and listen to what God has done, and then you can expect to recognize the supernatural in nature.

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