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Posts Tagged ‘nature’

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!
You have set your glory
    in the heavens. . . .  [Psalm 8:1, NIV]
When I gaze to the skies and meditate on Your creation—
    on the moon, stars, and all You have made,
I can’t help but wonder why You care about mortals—
    sons and daughters of men—
    specks of dust floating about the cosmos. [Psalm 8:2-4, The Voice]

nature-vs-manTheoretically, I want to be more aware of God’s work in nature, the things that human has yet to destroy: but what’s left? There is still the blue sky (on a good day), and the stars (if I can steal away from city lights), and the clouds (thankfully, untouched). There are still streams and trees and butterflies, and for a while yet, honey bees. There are birds who still build nests and foxes who hunt in the night, although they are forced to adapt, the birds building nests in our front porch lamp and the foxes scavenging in back yards.

When my mind runs along these tracks, I become sad. That’s not the point here. Perhaps it’s why I crave the ocean so much. Despite the harm we’ve done, she still roars and claims what is hers. She is a presence. She still seems bigger than the harm.

I don’t get out enough. I don’t do the nature thing. I don’t choose it.

Certainly, we live in a lovely town, with a promenade skirting the mouth of the Susquehanna and the Chesapeake Bay kissing its waters. But, even there, the railroad tracks and bridges and barges claim the sound space, my eyes must isolate.

How can I laud and praise the wonder of God’s earth when I am living so thoroughly in a human designed one? Is this what God intended for us?

I need to get out more.

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Here’s another misconception that has bit the dust today out of the Genesis story. All this time, I have been getting all mooney-eyed over rainbows, thanking God for his covenant and seeing them as a “sign” of God’s protection and promise. In fact, my husband and I can name off all the times rainbows have appeared at significant moments: getting married, adoption, buying our house, and so on. We saw them as a blessing.

Genesis 9:9-10a; 13; 16
I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you . . . I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. . . Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.

Oh, I’m sure God doesn’t really mind that rainbows are important to us as a family and as a couple. But really, despite what I have been taught, and sure, it’s a fine sign for the covenant/contract that God made with Noah, but we’d better be clear here. I’m thinking now that God selected that sign as reminder for himself. God will see it. God will remember. God will not destroy the earth by flood (maybe by something else, but not by water).

Rainbows appear at the confluence of light and precipitation. It’s the turning point. It’s the moment when things can go toward sunshine and clear skies to an overcast and dreary day.

It’s as though God is saying, “Oh, the temptation: I could just let it rain and rain and rain.” But God doesn’t because God remembers that there is always hope in Human transformation.

Today, I saw a photographer’s work. Roman Sakovich, who artificially created the juxtaposition of what someone healthy (one side) looks like next to the side that has succumbed to drug abuse. It’s the same scenario in my mind, the same warning of what could be, what I choose, where I  draw the line, what will I believe? The rainbow is the dividing line.

We can see it, the sign, but I think it’s more of a warning than a promise. It’s a “don’t forget” what I [God] can do.

This is a hard thing to consider in the aftermath of the many devastating rain-based storms we have had in the last couple of years. People’s lives have been washed away. Their futures abruptly halted. Their hope crushed by the hand of nature’s unexpected brutality.

It could happen to me. It could happen to you. “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.” [Romans 8:22]

A covenant, or contract, is binding and is between two sides. In this case, the covenant was made with Noah, as a representative for Human, and God. The covenant, by its nature, has an “if” clause. It is conditional. We have a role in this first covenant as much as we have in the covenants that followed. This one was easiest in many ways: remember and acknowledge. That’s it.

Remember Who made the covenant with Human. Acknowledge the promise not to destroy, despite God’s ability to do so.

The sign is not merely a “blessing,” it’s the stamp on the promise to NOT do something. Not destroy. The next time I see a rainbow, I think I’ll lift up thanks. Thanks God for giving us yet another day to live in harmony with one another and with nature and the creatures who populate our earth. Thanks God for saving Earth, one more time.

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People will often say, “what is truth?” And perhaps that can be debated, particularly in philosophical or academic circles. But I will hold to this: wicked (corrupt, evil, unethical) people will suppress whatever truth there is.

Romans 1:18-19
The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

Truth is dangerous. Truth is in your face. Truth demands justice. Truth is messy.

One of my children has perfected the art of the lie. He actually believes the lie simplifies his life (at least at first). A quick lie will delay explanation. A clever lie will satisfy curiosity. A believable lie will delay consequences.

The biggest problem with lying is that if one does it regularly, pretty soon, the lie becomes one’s personal truth. This is the lie that births wickedness. And at this point, actual truth is much more difficult to discern.

It’s not just children who metamorphose lies into a manufactured truth. Adults do it all the time. Couples do it. Leaders do it. Companies do it. Governments do it.

Anything that “man” has not made, is God’s handiwork. God is in nature. God is wind. God is sun and moon and stars. God is dirt and insects and animals. God is energy. God is light.

God is truth.

People can try to suppress God, but in the end, truth is always revealed (sometimes sooner, sometimes later).

Give way to truth. Give way to God. And the knots of wickedness will be untied by the power of Spirit. Today.

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