Monday, April 28, 2008

More of Him

For the most part, I stay away from online forums, because I could easily spend all day on one. My husband stumbled across a Christianity forum on Amazon over a month ago, and he manages to be better than me about it, although he admits that sometimes he spends too much time there!

They get a full spectrum of people: every religion and denomination, atheist, too. The attitudes are just as diverse. Some are hostile and rude while others are genuinely seeking a calm, respectful exchange of dialogue. I think it has been good for Greg, because the challenges and questions have caused him to study scripture and research doctrines. He is much better equipped to give an answer of the hope that lies within.

Saturday he asked me to read one woman’s testimony. It was touching, and it paralleled his in many ways. She was answering a couple of questions one man had asked. This led me to read those two questions. I couldn’t help but be intrigued by a portion of one of them:

"I became quite disappointed in Christianity in the respect that the universe, as in the Bible, is only an afterthought in God's creation, with only one very unmeaningful and insignificant passage in Genesis about the universe and then nothing else. Then the whole rest of the Bible, and apparently God's, concerns with the myriad doings of various men and society. To me that was a shame, because the wonders of the universe are so very more beautiful and important to me than the concerns of men. I was astonished that God busied himself so much in the relatively mundane affairs and men, when there is an unimaginably vast and complex universe out there."

Ever know someone who loves nature but wants nothing to do with God? I find that to be sadly ironic. A relationship with Jesus enriches everything in our lives, including our enjoyment of his creation.

Back to the main point: I just couldn’t resist typing an answer, which Greg posted on my behalf. He told me it was well received for the most part. If you have been following my blog, you will understand the reference to decorating a son’s room. Hee-hee!

Man was the centerpiece of God’s creation. The universe and all its vast wonders were created in preparation for man.

It was the joy of a father decorating a room for his little boy.

It was the excitement of a master craftsman who worked hard on a playground and then brought his son to it.

“And out of the ground the LORD God formed every beast of the field, and every fowl of the air; and brought them unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that was the name thereof” (Gen. 2:19). That verse warms my heart. I can almost feel God’s anticipation and pleasure in seeing Adam name the animals. “Look, son! Look at all these animals I made! I can hardly wait to see what you will name them!” :)

This Great Carpenter filled His world with many extraordinary things, and then he put into man the ability to enjoy them. He scattered patterns, color, and texture throughout, and then He placed in man’s eye the ability to derive pleasure from what he would see. He filled the world with diverse flowers and gave us the ability to smell them. He made all kinds of food and gave us the ability to taste. He allowed us to take part in the creation of life…in the creation of our own kind and gave us the ability to enjoy the process of reproduction. He used His limitless creativity to make it all diverse and interesting…and then He gave man the desire to learn new things and discover.

It was the all-powerful, all-knowing Creator longing for love and companionship, just as we long for it. He wanted someone He could talk to and spend time with. And he loved man, oh so very much! Still does! But he gave him a free will. He wanted man to love Him back on His own…and man had every reason to do that. Why shouldn’t we love our Creator Who made a beautiful universe for us? Why shouldn’t we adore the One who longs only for the things any father would long for from his child? Someone Who only wants to see us enjoy and appreciate His gifts next to His side. It wouldn’t even make sense not to love God.

Man wasn’t made **for** the universe, you see. It’s the other way around. Those of us who have a loving relationship with Him have all of eternity to enjoy His blessings. What God is really concerned about is that as many of us as possible will be able to do that. He’s working to save us from ourselves! There is no reason for God to devote large amounts of His Word on the planets and their inner workings. Think about this: Your son is about to experience a terrible death or a glorious life, and what are you going to write in your letter to him? Are you going to describe the details of how you built his dresser, or are you going to warn him about the agony of choosing the wrong path?

What is amazingly tragic is the way man has responded to God’s love and kindness. God was battered and abused long before Jesus came. He’s seen man look past Him to worship other parts of His creation – trees and planets, the sun and moon. He’s seen man call inanimate things gods. He’s watched in horror as man has inflicted pain and suffering on himself and others for the sake of imaginary gods. He’s seen man run after all manner of disgusting, harmful, unhealthy pursuits. And when He can’t stand to see these things any longer, after plenty of warning, He takes action, as He should.

For more of this meme, please click here.


Unknown said...

I have to agree with you about nature. God and nature are so intertwined I don't know how people can't see His hand in it! That is why I LOVE nature so much! Our world is a beautiful place!

Have a blessed day!

Anonymous said...

I'm with you, too, Farrah! I'm from CA and my favorite place is the Sierras...I feel God so strongly there. Thanks for sharing.

lauralavon said...

Appreciate the good thoughts, Farrah! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

What a wonderful response! I know people that want to marvel at creation but forget the Creator.

Thanks so much for sharing!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Your response is PERFECT and so beautiful. I really enjoyed reading it. I loved the analogy!