In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
I was sitting on a rock with my feet submerged in the rushing water from the stream at the base of Nevada Falls in Yosemite National Park. It was beautiful! After a grueling hike, I was ready to take in God's creation more fully. Beauty was everywhere! I was with my oldest son and my daughter. We split up for a time to reflect, or at least that's what I was doing. I couldn't help but sing songs of praise to God for His stunningly amazing creation. I sang hymns such as "How Great Thou Art" and "Great Is Thy Faithfulness," and praise songs like "Indescribable." Sitting there, I couldn't help but worship the Creator.
At one point, I remember asking God how people could look at His creation and not instinctively know there was a Creator that was bigger and more powerful than they were? Why didn't they even wonder how the mountains came to be? Or the rivers, and the waterfalls? How could they look at the stars in the sky on a clear night and not think about God? Why didn't the beauty of nature cause everyone to praise the One who created it?
God reminded me that there was a time when I knew He created the world, but it didn't move me. I remember standing in my front yard trying to think about the beginning of trees and grass and how that alone told me there was a God. I couldn't do it. The summer between my junior and senior year of high school, I went to Jackson Hole, WY, and there I saw the Tetons. For the first time, I was amazed by what God created. That trip I fell in love with the mountains and stood in awe of the God who created them.
Some people feel that way about the woods or the ocean, and I get it. The woods are peaceful and full of trees and plants. It feels like a sanctuary. In San Francisco, we went to Muir Woods. The trees were massive, and at some places along the path, signs were indicating we were entering a quiet zone. Some signs referred to the area as a sanctuary. I saw God's glory there. The ocean is vast and seems to go on forever. I went to the ocean a few times as a child on the coast of Maine. What I remember most is how cold the water was and how hot the sun was. I don't know if sunscreen had been invented yet, but we didn't use it. I got the worst sunburns when we would go there. In spite of that, I loved it! I loved the sand dunes and spending time with my dad and siblings. But it wasn't until I saw the mountains in 1977 that I was in awe of God. Scripture says God has made it evident through His creation that He exists. Through everything He has made, people can see His invisible qualities. For me, it was the mountains that finally made it click. It's as if they were declaring the glory of God!
Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because
God made it plain to them. 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 men are without excuse.
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 display knowledge.
Creation speaks loudly of a Creator God that is greater than we are. And if He is greater than we are, doesn't it make sense that we won't fully comprehend Him or His ways and thoughts (Is 55:8-9), but we can still know He is bigger and more powerful? We know that we can't put God on our level because creation tells us He is eternal and divine. And when we try to make God in our own image, we make a grave mistake. Unfortunately, people do think they can decide who God should be and how He should behave.
That's when God showed me another reason why people don't see the Creator when they look at creation. It's because they don't want to believe.
They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served
created things rather than the Creator--who is forever praised. Amen.
All people have some understanding of God through creation. When someone doesn't want to believe it, they suppress the truth. They would rather worship the things God created than God Himself.
It isn't our job to convince people that God exists or that He deserves our praise for what He has created. That's His job. It's our job to give Him praise and proclaim to others what we know is true. It's our responsibility to love others and treat them with dignity and respect, not judge for not seeing what we see. It's our job to pray faithfully for those who have suppressed the truth. We never know when it might click for them as it did for me when I saw the mountains for the first time. The Bible describes this as the eyes of our heart being opened. And God can do this through His creation or in a number of other ways.
Open the eyes of their hearts, and let the light of Your truth flood in.
Shine Your light on the hope You are calling them to embrace. Reveal
to them the glorious riches You are preparing as their inheritance.
Ephesians 1:18 (The VOICE)
Keep worshiping the Creator!