Luke 12:27, “Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”
Six days. Just six days. The Lord God created a beautiful, thriving, perfect place for men to live, all in six days. Then, when it was complete, He created man and placed him in the perfect environment He had created for him. Adam was created to live forever, and everything he needed was there, waiting for him on earth, the moment he opened his eyes. God thought of everything; nothing was forgotten or overlooked. After humans had lived for a few centuries, God never “realized” that we needed something new that was not yet created. No, our Heavenly Father thought of everything beforehand. What did Adam and Eve have at the beginning? They had fellowship with God, and they lived among nature.
In the society in which we live, it seems that enjoying, or even noticing the natural world has been relegated to some kind of “hobby” only enjoyed by a few, as if it is a sport. “What do you like?” “Oh, I enjoy scrapbooking, aerobics, volleyball, and nature.” In the other extreme, nature has been exalted to heaven itself, by some, as if it a god and a religion…something to be worshiped.
Both of these extremes are taking nature out of balance. But, nature is extremely important, yea, necessary for each one of us. The Lord created us to live among trees and flowers. He did not place man in a garden by accident. God wants us to be constantly reminded of HIM each time we view a tree, a flower, a cloud, a sunset. Everything in nature shows off the glory of the Lord. Nature was given to man to enhance his relationship with and increase his knowledge of his Maker. Nature is our teacher; it helps us understand our Creator better. While on Earth, Jesus spoke often of the rocks, the sun, the flowers, and the mountains. The Apostle Paul told us in I Corinthians 11:14 that nature was to be our teacher.
I encourage you to read Job chapters 38-42 this week. At the time of this writing, Job had lost everything–his ten children, his business, his investments, his employees, the understanding of his wife, and his health. He had nothing. As he sat in grief, his friends came to mourn with him. After one week of encouraging Job by their silent presence, his friends made a foolish decision–they began to talk! For some time Job and his buddies sat in the ash heap and philosophized over why all of this evil had come upon Job. They became negative and critical. After listening quietly for a long time, the Lord had had enough! He did not want to hear anymore wrong opinions about what He had done. So God spoke to Job for four straight chapters He put Job and his friends in their place. But what did He say? Did the Lord discuss why He brought evil to Job’s life? Did He defend His decision to kill Job’s children? NO! The Lord never once mentioned Job’s trials. Instead, God Almighty brought the focus back to where it always should have been- to Himself. What exactly did He say? The Lord talked about all that He created in nature. In these powerful chapters, the Lord talks (or you may say “yells”) about things such as: the foundations of the earth, the stars, the sea, the clouds, water, rain, ice, the constellations, light, darkness, lions, birds, thunder, lightning, goats, corn, donkeys, mountains, unicorns, horses, grasshoppers, dinosaurs, shady trees, brooks, eagles, rocks, and rivers.
God uses nature as the proof of His power and authority. He wants us to view nature and see Him in it. Nature was not put all around us for some to study; no, nature was created for each and everyone of us to see and glorify God.
What does nature teach us?
- Nature teaches us the greatness of the Lord. The universe is so vast, even scientists cannot create the words to describe its immensity! Consider how enormous must be the One Who Created the galaxies! Our God is bigger than our comprehension. Having such a huge and powerful Heavenly Father can give us the confidence He can provide all of our needs.
- Nature teaches us humility. How small we are in comparison to the vast expanse of the sky or the height of the mountains, or the depths of the sea! We are nothing. Yet, for some reason, our God loves us! It’s beyond wonderful! We are so insignificant, yet so loved.
- Nature teaches us to trust in God. Study the tiniest flower or insect. See the beautiful, intricate design in each. Learn how infinitely complex are the workings of the human body. The One Who created these things is so wise! That same Creator knows how to solve our problems. The One Who causes the moon to change the ocean tides is smart enough to understand how to lift our burdens and remove our fears. We can trust such a wise God!
God gave us nature as a gift to use to learn about the glory and majesty of Himself. It is necessary in our everyday lives. Do whatever you must do to surround yourself with as much nature as possible. Go outside. Take a walk among in the woods. God met Adam and Eve in a garden each day. Jesus went to mountains or to a garden to pray to the Lord. Pray in nature. Sit and watch the water of a lake or a river. Point out the birds and clouds and sky to your children as you are driving. Don’t ignore the magnificent beauty God made all around you.
If you must live surrounded by man-made things (an apartment with no view or an office cubicle), bring nature to your world. Bring in potted plants. Have something of nature in your view, no matter where you live or work. Put a small flowering plant on your desk. Take a minute each day to study its delicate leaves. Think of Who made it. Allow nature to constantly remind you of the Lord.
When you are burdened or depressed, like Job, allow nature to made you think of the goodness of God. The Lord had to remind Job of Himself through the natural world. Every person who is struggling in life should dwell in God’s creation throughout the day. No, seeing a robin in a tree is not going to cure your cancer. A sunset will not bring back your wayward child. The crashing tide will not solve your financial struggles. A butterfly will not bring back to life a loved one. Oak trees cannot relieve chronic illness. A chipmunk will not heal a broken marriage. BUT, these things will remind you that God still loves you and has a plan for your life. Nature can give you the hope that the Creator is big enough to solve your problems. The One Who watches the sparrow knows what you are going through, and HE LOVES YOU!
God knew what He was doing when He placed man in a garden. Let’s never spend too much time away from the natural world. It is a love gift from God to you. He didn’t just bring you a dozen roses, He created an entire world of flowers….all to say, “I love you!”