Monday, November 24, 2008


November is a time of transition. All of creation is slowly getting used to the fact that its about to be winter, and the whole process just happens so subtly. One day the trees are full of green leaves, then the next time you notice them they have turned all shades of brilliant colors. Maybe it’s our noticing that is at fault here instead of the speed of change, but regardless, something happens in those moments that takes a tree’s leaves from green, to yellow, red, or orange, and then causes them to die.

Of course I could open a textbook and explain exactly what chemical processes occur when a leaf changes color. But wouldn’t that just be a little trivializing to something so unique? Taking something that is so beautiful and trying to explain it would just be to miss the larger point.

The point for me is this: God certainly didn’t have to make the world with such breathtaking aesthetic beauty, but He did. He didn’t have to make cliffs rise out of the pounding sea, but He did. He didn’t have to make sweeping fields blanketed with wildflowers, but He did. He didn’t have to make sunsets the 30 minute melding and fusing of such brilliant hues that they are, but He did.

God could have created a world that just met the bare minimum of what we needed. He didn’t have to fill it with all measure of beauty and surprise. But he did, and praise Him for that!

This is especially meaningful when I think about the great suffering and tragedy that is woven into the fabric of our existence on this earth. The beauty is there, but so is the hurt, the pain, and the unexplainable. The skeptic points to those things and says that there can be no God. But even as heart-felt as this argument can be, the bad in this world is never strong enough to overcome the good. There will always be shoots of grass in the middle of the concrete mess of our world. Beautiful voices will continue to sing even amidst the noisy clamor of a broken world.

We as Christians must not lose the ability to behold the great paradoxes of this world and to let them bolster our praise of God. He is the God of beauty and of truth, and He is also the God of mystery and question. We must be content, as the child is content to not know everything. We must continue to ask our questions and to seek our God with all of the energy we have, but we must also be able to stop and wonder at the greatness and goodness of our God in Heaven, thanking Him for all He has given us.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Morning Reflection

The mighty presence of the Lord has again swept across the barren wasteland of my heart, making dead fields come alive with the green of spring. His presence is like the rain that brings newness and life to the dry earth, and my soul is that dry earth. Each day as the sun rises, my arid soul is in need of the fresh rains of God’s presence. Who am I to think that I am fine on my own? What kind of arrogance has so gripped my entire being that I would think that I am not desperately in need of God’s grace, mercy and love each new day? How many lies have I let take root in my heart that I would be content with 15 minutes with God in the morning, brazenly dipping merely my hands and my feet in the pools of the presence of God without submerging my whole body?

I am like a child that comes to a banquet feast and eats only candy. I am in continual need of time with the Lord, time to let Him shape and mold my character and yet I do not carve out the time necessary for this to happen. This is where the mercy of the Lord is so evident in my life, because He takes even my meager offerings of time and blesses them beyond measure. How deep is His love that He would put up with all my wavering and wandering. Praise the Lord his grace does not depend upon my actions, because that would just be dreadful.

Isn’t it amazing that God wants to pursue us? That He wants a deep and personal relationship with us? And the even more astounding thing is that He wants us this very day to come to Him and find refuge and peace.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I saw Fall today. Driving to school this morning was like driving through a national geographic photo feature, replete with falling leaves and a steady rain. It was one of those moments that I could so tangibly sense God calling out to His world through creation. I wasn't really even fully awake, but my senses came alive through the simplicity of seeing something beautiful. It was like putting flesh and blood to the Psalms which proclaim the greatness of God.

It is so good and so necessary to have those kinds of moments. Especially in the middle of a busy time of year when I'm rushing through my days. Being reminded of the awesome power of God has been so encouraging to me this week.