I love heading “up north.” Here in Michigan this is a phrase that explains how many people spend parts of their summers, some weekends and other vacation opportunities. We leave the city and head “up north” to enjoy the slower pace of life, the fun that lakes and waterways offer and to find peace in the beauty of the nature of Michigan.
The beauty of Michigan is oftentimes lost on those outside Michigan. Headlines like “Bankrupt City” or “the Death of Detroit” have come to define our state rather than the Great Lakes. But those of us who live here know our state is a place of beauty. Even this past winter with the horrid polar vortex, we were attacked with feet of snow, but also brilliant ice caves miles out onto the Great Lakes.
The beauty of our state and the beauty of creation is meant to remind us of the magnificence and creativity of a God who presided over its creation. The beauty of this world is for our enjoyment, but it also exists to draw us past the creation and ultimately to the Creator.
Job 12 tells us that creation will teach us of the power of the hand of God. Psalm 145 calls us to meditate on the things God has done in creation. Psalm 19 reminds us that the skies display the craftsmanship of God. We are also told that the heavens declare his handiwork. Paul tells us that by observing creation we are left without excuse as to whether God exists or not.Nehemiah 9 reminds us that God and God alone has created the world and all that is in it.
When nature takes our breath away, it is one of God’s ways of getting our attention. It is one way that He reminds us that He is here, He is present and He is involved in our world. It is one of the ways that God calls us to worship Him.
In my life, outside of Scripture, nature has led me to worship God more than anything else. Certainly the Bible reveals things about God that we will never understand through pondering the sky or looking through a microscope. But when I marvel at the creation, I am led to praise the Creator. I am amazed at the creativity of God. I am in awe of the beauty of the things that He has dreamed up from the snowflake to the sea-horse.
These things then lead me to worship in a deeper way the creative God that not only blessed us with the beauty of nature, but also the God who from the beginning of time purposed to save people through the sacrifice of Christ. Creation draws me in to worship some of the deeper things of God like his sovereignty, His grace, His mercy, His justice, His holiness and so much more.
These are things to mediate on. These are the things that draw us “further up and further in” as we come to know God in a deeper and more meaningful way.
by Jason Coplen
Pastor, Crosspointe Christian Church