Denver Church of Christ Blog

Every Natural Wonder is an Opportunity to Know God

Written by Rob Ferry | Aug 25, 2017 1:33:31 PM

For an hour or more this past Monday, millions of people stopped and stared at the sky — in protective eyewear, of course.  (Confession, my wife and I pulled our kids out of school and traveled from Denver, CO to Casper, WY, where we were able to witness totality.)

As the moon passed in front of the sun, the daytime sky turned to night and we were reminded that we are just one rock in an expansive universe.

For some, the eclipse was nothing more than a scientific phenomenon. For others, it was a sign of the end of the world. But for all of us, it was and is an opportunity to stop and marvel at the majesty of God’s creation.

What We’re Really Experiencing During Natural Wonders

God made the universe and everything in it. The Bible records this remarkable moment without much fanfare, simply stating, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). In the six days that followed, God made the Earth and everything in it (Exodus 20:11).

The more we learn about Earth, the more we learn about our God who created it. According to scientists, Earth’s position in the universe and its geological and chemical processes work together with exquisite efficiency to create a safe place for humans to live.

Consider for example:

  - That it would take a star with the highly unusual properties of our sun — the right mass, the right light, the right age, the right distance, the right orbit, the right galaxy, the right location — to nurture life on a nearby planet,

  - That the moon’s size is just the right proportion to stabilize the tilt of Earth’s axis and generate tides that circulate ocean water and keep it fresh,
 
  - Or, that the same conditions that make life possible also make our planet uniquely well-suited for viewing and analyzing the rest of the universe.
 
Looking at how intricately Earth is designed, it quickly becomes clear that nothing about life here is accidental. The same way that a great piece of art gives us insight into the life, times, and feelings of the artist, every process and every detail of how our planet functions gives us insight into the One who made it.

And the Bible reminds us that’s what God wanted all along — to show us His existence, His power, His love, and His care.

“The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words;
no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world” (Psalm 19:1-4).

God wants us to know who He is. This planet is remarkable in its makeup because its makeup leads us to marvel at our Creator.

What Creation Tells Us About God

If we believe God is all-powerful, then we also believe that He can create anything. God didn’t have to make us or a planet that is perfectly suited to sustain us. God can (and did) make other kinds of planets and solar systems.

But the fact that He made this planet, Earth, this way shows at least three significant insights into God’s character.

1. God cares about the details.
“Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. Glorious and majestic are his deeds ...” (Psalm 111:2).

Rather than fill the world with only functional creatures and plants, God gives us millions of species in every size, shape, and color.

Remove one tiny plant or animal from a habitat, and it affects everything else that lives there. None of us have seen a Carolina parakeet’s vibrant yellow, orange, and green feathers, except perhaps in a history book or on its Wikipedia page. This small, attractive bird also served an important purpose. When the Carolina parakeet died out, forests changed because the parakeet wasn’t there to disperse seeds as it had in the past.

It’s possible to design things that are functional but not beautiful. But God chooses to do both because beauty draws us in. The extra time and thought that goes into making something beautiful communicates how much a designer cares about what he’s making and who he’s making it for.

2. God makes things perfectly.
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

How many times have you started to make something, gotten halfway through the project, then scrapped what you had an gone back to the original design? I take comfort in knowing this has never happened to God.

More often than not, we’re the ones trying to replace or recreate systems God already perfected. For example, some cities have started investing in natural infrastructure — caring for plants, soil, and river beds as a way to control flooding and provide high-quality water rather than building dams and water treatment plants.

So much of what we know about nature's cycles — think photosynthesis, evaporation, or the changing of seasons — points back to a God who knew what we would need before we did.

God created all these systems long before we had the knowledge to understand them, and they create a perfect picture of how He works in our lives today. Even when we can’t see what’s happening, God is perfectly weaving things together for His glory and our good.

3. God is both powerful and personal.
“Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Revelation 4:11).

Staring at the sky has a way of making me feel small. But where that used to evoke listlessness or insignificance, I now experience an even deeper awe and affection for God.

The same God who made the universe is not far from any one of us, according to Acts 17:24-28. And in Isaiah 42:5-7, God, the great and powerful maker and sustainer of the universe, also promises to take hold of our hands, to keep us and make us His children. Those are not the words of a distant deity, but a loving dad.

Who is this God, who has all this power, but still cares so intimately about me?*

I hope that’s the question many of us pondered as we marveled at the eclipse because I think that’s what brings God the most joy — seeing His children awestruck at what He’s made and searching to know Him just a little more.

*If you’re not sure who God is and want to learn more about Him, we’d love to talk with you. Connect with us at http://bit.ly/2ivEO7z.