040. Crediting the Creator
Crediting the Creator
I think we can all agree that houseplants are beautiful. I love them for so much more than the beauty they have to offer, though that would be reason enough.
In the beginning, God created the heavens, the earth, the sky, the sea, the plants, the animals-- and it was GOOD. It all reflected the handiwork of the Creator Himself; it all sings His name. Then He created man in His image-- also good, pure, and beautiful. He desired a deep, mutual relationship with His greatest creation of all time. But like all good, healthy relationships, we must have a choice-- a choice to love well and a choice to leave that relationship. In true human nature, we messed it up, sin entered the world, and we were separated from God. Sure, God who is all-powerful could have prevented the fall of mankind, but this wouldn’t have been true love. It would have been nothing but selfishness if God had held humankind within a relationship we had no choice in. So, in one of the most selfless acts of all time, God allowed the world to break. He allowed the repercussions of our actions to unfold, even though it would break His heart deeply and hurt His most loved creation of all.
Now, centuries later, we are still living in that very broken world. We see and experience loneliness, fear, death, suffering, and we see hurt everywhere our eyes look. In an effort to relieve the heartache and mend the brokenness that we are surrounded by, we desperately reach for comfort. Comfort found in the arms of a loved one, in our jobs, in our homes, in our bodies, food, thoughts-- we are all just grasping after comfort in the wake of sin.
And guess what? That desperate grasp? It comes from a good place! God wanted this world to be a comfortable one. He wanted it to be lovely, untouched by sin, by hurt, by brokenness. But without God, there is no comfort, no rest to look forward to-- only more death, pain, and brokenness.
But there is hope! God loves us far too much to abandon us to an eternity of death and destruction. So He gave us a second chance.
On the cross, God allowed His Son to be murdered brutally and painfully, bearing all the brokenness of the world once and for all so we never have to. He gave us a way back to Him: to our Maker, our Father.
When we accept this sacrifice that He poured out for us-- when we say YES to God and “no” to our own selfishness and come running to Him-- this is salvation in God. This is the only way to experience a life of selfless love and true joy. This truth is what we should cling to while we walk through the brokenness of the world. And again, God didn’t stop there. After His son was killed, three days later, he rose from the grave to prepare a place for us. To build a relationship with us that he longs for so deeply. To allow the Holy Spirit to live within us so that even on this broken earth, we can be in God’s presence. This is our hope. Our hope lies within God and the rest He has prepared for us when we are reunited with Him in our perfect, heavenly home.
In God’s true nature, even while the world is so terribly broken, God’s grace and kindness are lavished across the Earth. When we open our eyes and look, we can see His beauty and majesty as little spoilers of what is waiting for us: as glimpses into what eternity with Him will look like.
Even in it’s broken form, nature still declares God’s glory:
Psalm 19:1-5 (NIV)
“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.
In the heavens God has pitched a tent for the sun.
It is like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber,
like a champion rejoicing to run his course.
It rises at one end of the heavens
and makes its circuit to the other;
nothing is deprived of its warmth.”
When we look to nature, we get an opportunity to learn more about our Maker. The more we study plant life, the more we will see that God’s intentionality in creation, which will give us a deeper understanding of just how deeply God’s love for us runs.
God knew that in our desperate attempt to find comfort and fix what we broke long ago, we would continue to look for love and wholeness in all the wrong places. He knew that we would need to be nourished, that our physical bodies would fail us, that our minds would become weak, that we would pollute even the air we breathe all in an attempt to find comfort and rest. So He didn’t stop at beauty when he created nature. He created plants to nourish our bodies, to heal us, to reduce pollution, to bring us happiness, to revive our spirits, and to teach us about His incredible love. It amazes me how quickly we forget that.
When we come into contact with great art, we don’t say, “Look at what this piece of art made!” That would be ridiculous. Even saying that sentence out loud, it doesn’t make sense.
Instead, we say, “Who made this incredible painting? I bet she worked so hard to create it. It’s beautiful!.” Then we look at it. We soak it up. We let that piece of art sink in, and we start to feel all the emotions that come flooding to the front of our minds. Emotions, memories, thoughts-- all inspired by a beautiful piece of art thoughtfully and intentionally made.
That need to create and experience creation in all forms is a trait we get from our Father: paintings that evoke emotion, a photograph that takes our breath away, a song that inspires us, a meal that brings us joy and comfort, a home that creates a safe space for our bodies and hearts to grow. Art is important, and crediting the artist is far more important than simply experiencing a work of art and moving on.
When we credit the artist, it gives us an opportunity to look into the eyes of the creator and ask questions. To wonder why they made this, to consider what they were thinking when they composed the song or wrote the book. Art brings us closer to people; it builds relationships.
Within nature, we can see God’s eye for beauty: His intentionality in crafting a world that can bring us happiness, joy, healing, and fun, even in a broken version of His perfect creation. We can draw closer to our Creator and build a deeper relationship with Him; and that all begins with crediting the Creator himself.
As we continue on to study plant life, remember that nature goes to reveal God’s glory just as you and I should. Just as the art we make, the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the songs we sing, and the relationships we build should all go to reflect the one who created us.
I understand that it sounds like a responsibility that is far too big to carry. It is. We don’t have to do it alone-- we shouldn’t do this alone. God didn’t stop at creating nature: He created people too. People who He loves more dearly than ALL that He has created. People who are desperate for comfort. People He understands far more than we could ever know. And people who He desires to have a real, active, mutual relationship with. God is not simply a God of control and power: all good relationships have rules, boundaries, and a choice to reject them and leave the relationship behind. God is a God of grace, power, majesty, might, sovereignty, and, above all, selfless love.
The beauty I see within houseplants is the ability to take a small part of the masterpiece of nature from outdoors and see it daily in our home. It’s intimate and beautiful and a gift I hold onto so dearly. This is why, to be blunt: We do not worship ‘mother earth’ or nature itself, we worship God who both made everything and gave everything so He can have the opportunity to be invited into our lives and nurture a genuine relationship with His most beloved creation. My prayer for you is that you can experience God’s goodness through nature. That your houseplants remind you of His love and His desire to build a mutual relationship with you.
Enrollment for Get Planty Course closes October 10, 2019
(but will reopen in the future)
Enroll here: http://getplantycourse.com