Inspired by a few things (a book & Thailand), I wanted to write about a subject that has been on my mind over the past years, but which has not felt like being placed on paper till now. It began one day a few years ago… while driving through an area with many trees and bushes (I think on Cathedral Oaks Rd. in Goleta) that I came to realize that there was so many varieties of green in the leaves all around me. Then the realization hit me that God, the Creator, has a unique name for each of these colors. I was so awestruck by this thought and realization that I could not help but start to praise Him for His pure awesomeness. His amazing creativity, knowledge, and wisdom just overwhelmed me… and the following Scripture verse made so much more sense: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made…” (Romans 7:20). It is funny, but this insight still comes to my mind randomly over the years, and it always brings me into awe and adoration of Him.
At this moment, I want to ask you, the reader… about your thoughts and your experiences. Have you ever been captivated by His creation? His artistry? His creativity? Whether it is the colors, the sounds, the smells, the touch, or the feel… have you ever noticed how the world has such a great elegance and precise design?
I thought of this question and wrote down some things that amaze me in His creation. You should try it too!
– The swirl of colors during a sunrise as the sun seems to rise out of the horizon like a performer coming onto the stage, and the light bouncing off different things like a captivated audience seeing a performance for the first time.
– The slow diminishing of colors from bright to dark as the sun sets like a performer exiting the stage, and the collective sigh and darkness arises all around as the curtain falls.
– The vibrance, vividness, texture, crispness of a flower and its petals? I was at an orchid farm in Thailand and saw so many different beautiful types of orchids and I just wanted to capture everything with my camera, but I could not.
– The fantastic uniqueness, creativity, order, function and form of different animals and plants as they operate and organically live all around me interacting with the rest of His creation.
God’s excellency, wisdom, purity and love appear in all things… and all of this sometimes reveal a glimpse of the truly Perfect. Whether it is excellence, perfection, beauty, exquisiteness, magnificence, glory, richness, depth, magnitude, harmony, melody, joy, and/or happiness… all these things point to an amazing Creator. As the Jonathan Edwards devotional points out, “one cannot logically identify a scene of beauty and leave it disconnected from the character of its designer.”
We have all heard the cliché that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” How true it seems, and yet how false it really is! Each person finds one thing to be more beautiful than another, and this difference shows our relative uniqueness. Yet there are different things that we all find beautiful, and a part of our heart tugs and even yearns when we see them (I suppose the Grand Canyon is one of those things). Yet what is scary is that as much as our uniqueness is shown in our opinions of beauty… our sinfulness/depravity/fallen ness is also manifested! It is in these moments that our unique history, our preconceived notions, our biasness, our social programming, our hatreds, our dislikes, our doubts, our brokenness and many other things show just how much we are affected and blinded to the pure awesome beauty that is Him. Beauty is not defined by our perspective, but by His perfect artistry/creativity/omniscient perspective. Ultimately, beauty is not separate from God, but the very essence of God. “You don’t need to squint to see truth; one has only to open one’s eyes.” It is when we do this that we realize that all that is wonderful show something amazing about Him!
So this brings me to the title of this post…“…Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well…” It is actually a part of Psalm 139, verse 14, and it captured my attention because it echoes that feeling I felt when I saw those greens that one day. It echoes all the times I have stopped and simply noticed Him… and it is in those moments that He has captivated me… sometimes even to the point of a loss of breath.
You see, nature is a love song from the Creator to mankind. Yet do we notice? Have we truly seen? Have we paused to admire, to look, to listen, to taste, to touch, or to experience? Do we even notice this beauty around us? So take a moment today amidst the busyness of our lives… the weight/burdens we impose upon ourselves, and be captivated… get lost… fall in love once again with Him. Check out Psalm 104 as David did the same.