By Submitted Article on July 11, 2020.
First of three parts
Jacob M. Van Zyl
Although some try to make the best of the Canadian winter with snowmobiles, skiing or travelling to warmer regions, most people probably enjoy summer more with its great variety of outdoor activities. It brings us closer to nature with all its beautiful scenery and animals.
Artists, architects, builders and artisans are known by their handiwork. Likewise, the Creator reveals himself in his creation (Rom. 1:20), not only in the original one, but also now in every season and in every region. He creates a variety of beauty repeatedly.
Painters have used the walls of high buildings as a canvas; and yet it is tiny compared to that of the Creator – a crimson sunset against the evening sky, from the North Pole to the Antarctic Circle at this time of year.
On a clear night, far from city light, the firmament flickers with trillions of stars in many galaxies. How great their Creator is!
When the psalmists looked at nature, their thoughts immediately reached out to the One who made and sustains it.
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you visit him” (Ps. 8).
“I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth” (Ps. 121).
“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows his handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge” (Ps. 19).
“You crown the year with your goodness, and your paths drip abundance. The pastures are clothed with flocks; the valleys are covered in grain” (Ps. 65).
“He sends the springs into the valleys; they flow among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field. The wild donkeys quench their thirst. By them, the birds of the heaven have their home; they sing among the branches. He waters the hills from his upper chambers” (Ps. 104).
Our beautiful blue planet – for the first time seen from a distance 51 years ago – is only a speck in our galaxy. How glorious and powerful the One must be, who created and maintains all of this!
When we enjoy nature once again this summer, we should remember who the true Maker and Owner is. The spiritual view of Indigenous people – that nature belongs to the Creator, and we have only user privileges – may help Christianity to return to its roots in Genesis 1 and 2.
Trees are known by their fruit. Thorn bushes cannot bear apples or peaches. What does our fruit say of us? People must change before their deeds will change.
Jacob Van Zyl of Lethbridge is a retired counsellor and the author of several faith-based books.