Monday, July 09, 2007

What we learn from nature about God

I love a visit with Pastor Brad. He's been on vacation, backpacking in the wild. His spiritual refreshment was not what you might expect.
    Since the advent of the car and paved roads, it is fairly easy to get a good view from a mountain top somewhere. You can simply drive to some "Look Out Point," put the car in park and enjoy the view. You cannot do that in the wild. In one day, my friends and I had to walk over four mountains, carrying 35 lbs. on our backs, fighting the heat and exhaustion just to get to a decent campsite. Not only did we have to contend with heat and fatigue, we had to fight ticks, chiggers, biting flies, and even snakes. And it rained. In fact, the wood was so wet that we could barely build a decent fire.

    So what did I learn from nature? It's fallen. Instead of fruit trees, the ground grows thorns and prickly things. There is almost nothing edible in the forest, and even that which is edible is fairly lousy. Except the occasional blackberry, but even that gift comes with thorns. Even clear mountain streams can prove lethal if the water is not filtered and treated before drinking.

    The Bible teaches that "the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God" (Rom. 8:20-21). So even the beauty of nature is tainted with the corruption of the fall. I could not see God as clearly as I wished in nature because it is fallen as I am fallen. Sin permeates the natural world and obscures the glory of God.

    So as I walked over the cursed land I dreamed of a day when the Creator will liberate His creation from bondage. I imagined a day with no more thorns, chiggers, mosquitoes, and ticks. Even the earth longs for the day of redemption. Together we groaned for the return of the King.


JAM said...

Beautifully said.

It's certainly a point of view that isn't common, even in Christian circles.

We tend to seek the beautiful and the uplifting. I'm reminded of what your pastor wrote here when I pass through Genesis and what Adam and Eve lost and had to leave behind. The very ground was cursed because of man's sin.

Amazing Gracie said...

My! What a breath of fresh air! I stumbled into your blog from the "Over 50" blog roll.
Have you read any of Edith Schaeffer's books? One in particular - can't remember the title - describes the making of a grand piano and the beauty of the earth before the fall. Only she could tie those two things in successfully!