Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and bless His name. Psalm 100:3-4
This morning took an unexpected turn.
I am staying in a hotel room, awaiting a training workshop that will begin tomorrow. I had the idea that I would watch a church service online, and I caught the tail end of one. The next service would begin 45 minutes later. While waiting, I decided to check my email. I found several notifications of an artist’s blog that I recently started following when time permits, and so I happily clicked away.
I was not expecting to have church. I was expecting to look at a few recent sketches or watercolor paintings. What I found was a handful of photographs that drew me in, mostly of trees on a riverbank.
I have a fascination with trees. I can’t name them, haven’t studied them, but they tend to capture my eye when the colors are extraordinary, and especially when the trunks and lower branches are shaped in an unusual way.
I studied the photographs, and then went on to view more of their work, and some of the pieces brought tears to my eyes. They were breathtaking. I wondered aloud if the Lord looked at this work and felt the same way. I marveled at the gifts He had given this husband and wife team.
Oh, Lord GOD! You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for You! Jeremiah 32:17
He has given the same gift to countless others. They try to recreate what He created with the gifts that He has given them. Does it bring Him joy to see the fruit of their labor, and His?
I looked around the hotel room. It’s a beautiful room, and I am thankful to be here. It was designed by man, but inspired by the creativity of God, whether the designer recognized it or not.
I looked out the window for the hundredth time at the autumn colored leaves (in December!), and saw God’s creative handiwork there, too. I watched as the copper and golden-colored leaves glinted in the sunshine, and I don’t know how it is possible, but it looked like diamonds were placed amongst the leaves, glittering in the sun as a gentle breeze moved them. It was breathtaking, watching the leaves dance before my eyes. I wondered if anyone else noticed, or were they busily going about their day, as I normally would be?
For you will go out with joy and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12
As I poured out my heart to the Lord, my thankfulness for the beauty that surrounds us and the gifts that He gives us could not be contained, and my thankfulness erupted into praise. How marvelous are His works!
I began to wonder what His thoughts were. Does He look upon His creation in nature as beautiful, but then look at us, also His creation, as less than beautiful because trees don’t sin, but we do?
Immediately I knew in my spirit that He doesn’t see it that way at all. He looks upon ALL of His creation as beautiful. That brought me to tears all over again! We so don’t deserve the love and forgiveness that He generously bestows.
We were created in His image, after all, and He is altogether lovely. That great love is why He sent His Son, Jesus, Yeshua, to reconcile us to Himself – so that He can have a restored relationship with us.
He has placed gifts in all of us, and when we use them, His creativity is released, again and again. He didn’t stop creating in the first chapter of Genesis, He is still creating. Will we choose to be His instruments?
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them. Ephesians 2:10