EARTH: Glorious Creation by Francine Rivers

Reflections on How God Speaks Through Nature

Glorious Creation by Francine Rivers

From: Earth Psalms

The angel took me in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, descending out of Heaven from God.
It shone with the glory of God and sparkled like a precious stone – like jasper as clear as crystal.
(Revelation 21:10-11)

One of the places I would like to visit (again) is Holland. I’ve visited twice, and each time I missed the spring tulip season with the stripes of color filling vast acres of land.

The Ottoman Turks were the first to discover wild tulips.  Tulip in Turkish means, “turban,” and these particular turbans were gorgeous.  In the 1550s, an Austrian Hapsburg ambassador to the court of Süleyman the Magnificent in Constantinople stole a few bulbs and sent them west.  The Dutch, who had limited land space, filled their window planters with the colorful flowers.  “Tulip mania” spread like wildfire.  Prices climbed until people were spending a fortune on a single bulb.  But what goes up eventually comes down (like a housing market!), and the tulip market crashed.

The beautiful, brilliantly colored tulips we see today aren’t the same as those Ambassador de Busbecq sent west.  Tulips have been hybridized and have lost their original splashes (“breaks”) of color.  While some wild tulips still exist, the tulips of Süleyman’s day can mainly be seen only in Middle Eastern paintings and ceramics.

As beautiful as today’s tulips are, God’s original design was far more magnificent.  Such is man’s inability to improve on God’s work.  He is the Master Designer and Ultimate Creator, and he specializes in breathtaking color, eye-opening variety, and awe-inspiring beauty.  If that’s what he created on Earth, which is our temporal home, imagine what he has created in Heaven, our eternal home and his.  We have the promise that Heaven is far more amazingly beautiful than anything we can even imagine – and hopefully the one place in the universe where we will see God’s gloriously created tulips growing in his garden.

God reveals himself to us through his creation.  The beauty we see around us now is a reminder of his majesty and beauty, and it’s a promise of even more majesty and beauty to come.  Someday we’ll not only view the fullness of his creation, but we’ll be able to see him face-to-face.  That will be beautiful beyond all imagining.

We may speak about a place where there are no tears, no death, no fear, no night; but these are just the benefits of Heaven.
The beauty of Heaven is seeing God.
(Max Lucado)

REFLECT

What do you think Heaven will be like?  Based on scripture passages such as Revelation 21 and 22:1-6, how do you picture it?  What might change in your life if you thought about Heaven each day?  What does God’s creation tell us about God himself and his love for us?

APPLY

Take a few minutes to read Revelation 21–22:6 and reflect on the promise of Heaven.  Thank God for his goodness to us.

CONNECT WITH GOD

Heavenly Father, I praise you because you are the Master Designer!  I know that the Heaven you have created will be beautiful beyond my wildest imagination.  I don’t know how to thank you for saving me and welcoming me to this beautiful place.  Help me to live each day with Heaven in mind.  May I remember that the greatest moment of Heaven will be viewing you face-to-face.

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
The skies display his craftsmanship.
Day after day they continue to speak;
night after night they make him known.
(Psalm 19:1-2)

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