Nature reminds us how much God loves us

The Bible is full of literal truth. I am one who believes the Bible should be taken literally. So if the Bible says Jonah survived three days in the belly of a giant fish, that means he did. And if the Bible says Noah built an ark to save his family and either two of every species of animal (or seven of every species of animal in some cases), he did. And if the Bible says the Children of Israel escaped the pursuing armies of Egypt by walking across the Red Sea on dry ground, it happend.

The Bible often uses metaphorical language to represent truth, though. So sometimes you have to wrap your head around the metaphor to understand what’s really going on. The amazing thing about Scripture is most verses have levels of understanding–and the more you study a verse, the better you understand the culture it was written in, the better you understand the culture it was written to, and the deeper you understand the language it was written in, you reach new levels of depth. And it doesn’t matter what verse you’re talking about. This is true with every verse in the Bible.

I got to thinking about this when I read today’s verse, Psalm 119: 64.

64 O Lord, your unfailing love fills the earth;
      teach me your decrees.

It’s a beautiful statement. But there are a lot of different ways of looking at what it means for God’s unfailing love to fill the earth. What does that mean literally? Well . . . if you think about it . . . those of us who believe in Christ have the Holy Spirit in us, the evidence of God’s love in our lives. And you could say there’s enough of us that we fill the earth. So that’s a literal way of looking at it.

But the concept with this verse that hit me this morning is how God’s love for us is reflected in everything He has created.

God created the Earth for us. He made it to be our home. He made it perfect–and we broke it.  So He’s doing the best He can now with the world–the universe–that we threw away. But even broken and falling apart, this world is beautiful.

There’s nothing quite like a Kansas sunrise if you haven’t seen one. Kansas is 90 percent sky anyway, so when the sun is coming up in the morning, it paints everything fluorescent red-gold and turns the clouds into streaks of fire.

Birds in the air. Even ants skittering along the ground. And grasshoppers–I have a ton of them out here. The sound of the wind that blows across the fields, whether hot or cold. The smell of a freshly cut alfalfa field. The taste of mulberries freshly plucked off a tree. The dirty old Arkansas river, rushing along through Wichita. The rain, the lightning, the storms that blow through Kansas on a regular (though not so regular this year) basis.

The heat of summer. The refreshing awesomeness of autumn with all its colors and its cool weather. The chill of winter with snowflakes that are never alike. The greeness of spring that renews the world.

Mountains. Beaches. Plains. Hills. Lakes. Valleys. Creeks. God made all of it. He carved the world out with His fingers. The Earth is a masterpiece, a labor of love by a Creator who wanted to make a beautiful place for His children to live. And every time I see something beautiful in the world, I remember how much God loves me.

After all, if He draped the night sky with stars just for me, how can I argue that He doesn’t?

So this Labor Day weekend, if you’re feeling like God is distant and uncaring, sloe down and watch the sun rise or set . . . or look at stars . . . or if the weather is cooler wherever you are, eat your lunch outside . . . watch the ants, the birds, the squirrels . . . and remember that God made everything.

We should take joy in the things He made for us. Because every part of nature reminds us how much He loves us.

PS: I just had to share this for all you Wichita-types who have been surviving the hottest summer since 1930 (we broke the record yesterday with our 51st day of temperatures over 100 with a temp of 108 or something like that). Relief is on the way!!!


It’s so easy for me to forget God sometimes. I get so caught up in life and ministry and work that I just sometimes push Him to the side and don’t think about Him. Even now as I write this blog this morning, my brain is going in a million different directions and staying focused on Him is difficult.

Why is that? I am so easily distracted, and it’s frustrating for me. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is for God.

It’s ironic, though, because if I just open my eyes and look around, God is everywhere. His fingerprints are all over creation. He’s in thunderstorms and gentle rains. He’s in gray, overcast skies. He’s in the startling green wheat fields that presently surround my house. He’s in the lilac bushes, the blossoming pear trees, and even the garlic chives that have taken over the garden plot. He’s in all these things because He made them. He created them for us and gave them to us for us to enjoy (although, I think the garlic chives may have come from Satan as a curse).

But nature is more than just something for us to take pleasure in. Nature is a sign. Everything around us is a sign, pointing with both hands to God as the Creator of everything.

I heard in a theology course I took once that there are two kinds of revelation, natural revelation and special revelation. The Bible is special revelation because God spoke through men specifically. Nature, however, is natural revelation because you can look at it and understand a lot about God just from what you see.

The verse this morning says it better than I can:

Romans 1:20

20 For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

 I don’t understand how people can look at the world and think it happened by accident. That everything we see here came about on its own, by chance. I don’t have a problem if people want to believe that, and I won’t try to change anyone’s mind (I can’t do that anyway). I’m just saying that I don’t understand it. It makes more logical sense to me that the Earth was created, but I’m not going to start on the Creation vs. Evolution soapbox this morning because that’s not what I thought when I read this verse.

I actually felt frustrated with myself. Because I know God. I know Him personally. He’s been my best friend for 21 years. The only other person I’ve been best friends with longer than that is my brother. I know God, and even though all of nature throws Him in my face, I still manage to forget about Him.

I still run into a problem that I can’t fix, and I stress out. I still reach the end of my power and worry. I still try to do everything in my life on my own. I still feel alone.

But all I have to do is watch the moth flying around in my upstairs office (I still don’t know how it got in here; I haven’t been able to swat it), and that is evidence of God’s creativity. A moth is an incredible creature. They fly; what’s not to like? All those tiny little wing feathers. The brilliant, muted colors (no, that’s not a contradiction). Their fuzzy little antennae. (It’s no wonder Arthur the accountant picked it as an alter-ego!)

God made moths, just like He made everything else. He designed them. He created them from nothing. And He gave them to us to study and watch and see and enjoy, and when we see it we can remember who God is. We can remember that He can do anything. We can remember that no matter what problem we’re facing, He is strong enough to overcome it. Because if He’s creative enough to stick fuzzy antennae on a bug and make it fly around a eat clothes, He can help you come up with a solution for any situation in your life.

Just as people have no excuse for not knowing God, I have no excuse for forgetting Him. And on this Good Friday, I want to remember.