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.