From: Earth Psalms
For the Lord is God,
and he created the heavens and Earth
and put everything in place.
He made the world to be lived in,
not to be a place of empty chaos.
Several years ago, Rick and I took an excursion to see Claude Monet’s famous garden that inspired much of his artwork. Along the way through the rural countryside, we saw numerous thatched roofs, each with a row of irises blooming on the crest. A nice creative, decorative touch, we thought. Then we learned the French discovered long ago that the roots of the iris will interlock, holding the thatch firmly from the top. (How they learned that would make an interesting investigation.) But holding a roof together is not the only benefit the flowers provide. We were also told that rats hate the smell of irises – a helpful fact when your roof is made out of vegetation.
We also saw window boxes of geraniums everywhere on our trip. Ah, so picturesque! All those beautiful splashes of vibrant color. I’d never thought about when or why window boxes came into being, but it turns out they serve a practical purpose. For centuries, people have opened their windows to allow a fresh breeze into the house (unless, of course, their window happened to overlook a street that served as an open sewer). Most towns were built along rivers that served as trade routes. Mosquitoes flourished. Back in the days before Off! and citronella candles, the French learned that geraniums repel mosquitoes. With geraniums in a window box, people could have the benefit of fresh air without the unwelcome visitors.
God has created numerous things in nature that help solve some of our daily problems. He knew what troubles we would face after the Fall. So from Creation, he built in cures and protective resources – even before those cures and resources were needed. As Isaiah 45:18 says, he created the world to be lived in, and he put everything in place. His creation is deliberate and thoughtful, and we can see his care for us wherever we look in nature.
The world is his garden, filled with provisions for us. It’s up to us to discover them and use them wisely – and with thankful hearts.
There lies all about us, if only we have eyes to see, a creation of such spectacular profusion, such spendthrift and extravagant richness,
such intricate and absurd detail, as to make us drunk with astonished wonder. (Michael Mayne)
All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
And all things wise and wonderful;
The Lord God made them all.
He gave us eyes to see them all,
And lips that we might tell
How great is the Almighty God
Who has made all things well.
(All Things Bright and Beautiful)
What does it tell us about God that at the very creation of the world, he put measures in place to protect us and help us? How might this change the way we respond to a problem we face?
This week when you encounter a trial, remember the irises and geraniums and think about how God already has something in place to help you through whatever you are facing.
CONNECT WITH GOD
Lord God, I can’t even fathom your wisdom. Even before sin had come into the world, you knew that people would need your help, and you built help into your creation. Thank you for caring for us so much that even this fallen world is full of examples of your grace and kindness.