“The heavens declare the glory of God; the sky displays His handiwork. Day after day it speaks out; night after night it reveals His greatness. There is no actual speech or word, nor is its voice literally heard. Yet its voice echoes throughout the earth.” Psalm 19:1-3 (NET)
Natural revelation is the discovery of certain attributes of God through the study of creation. In contrast to written revelation in which God communicates with us directly (the Bible), natural revelation is inferred from human observations. (www.provethebible.net)
This term, Natural Revelation, was not a tossed around in theology circles back in the days of King David. This shepherd boy, turned hand-chosen King and leader of the Israelites, experienced and wrote of the majesty of God’s creation in many of the Psalms of our scriptures.
David’s appreciation of nature certainly began at a very young age as he wondered the fields and mountains, tending sheep, finding shade under the trees, picking berries as energy snacks along his miles of trekking. This appreciation seems to have grown as he grew into the man God called him to be, putting his words to music with lyre and voice.
I have always loved being outside; swimming, walking, sitting (though much to my kids’ dismay, not camping!) and many other outdoor activities. Over the years, I have had flower gardens, veggie gardens, and experimented in my yard. I appreciated God’s creation and all that is in nature (except spiders) and believe the sciences bring understanding to what the Creator brought into existence.
Recently, however, my appreciation grew into a deeper sense of awe and wonder at the majesty and detail that displays the handiwork of God’s creative mind and talents. A long distance old friend of mine took me on a venture to ‘The Farm’ that is in the middle of NOWHERE Pennsylvania. The Farm is owned by a college friend of my friend (are you following this?) and is 160 acres of untainted, at its best, nature. hills, trees upon trees, a river, deer, eagles, corn fields, birds, fish, bears, and amazing beauty.
As I headed out on this long weekend of relaxation and girl fun, I was three months into the life-changing crisis that had pushed me deep into the waters of drowning grief. The excruciating heart pain and the daily numbness of the shock were my companions as I worked, survived, loved, and wept.
The two girls (you can be in your 50’s and still be called girls, right??) had much to catch up on with life’s events. I could feel the untainted acres of nature’s beauty calling me to explore it. So, several times over the next couple of days, I laced up my Keds and took to trekking the solitude of God’s creation.
I prayed. I sat. I cried. I hiked. I journaled. I read century old gravestones. I recited scripture from my heart’s memory. I yelled. I looked for hope.
And in the towering trees and endless fields and wide open sky… I. Felt. So. Small.
“Who am I to God anyway? My little life is so insignificant in these rolling acres of earthworms and soaring eagles… let alone the world. Is He really even listening? Does He really even care? Is this crisis and my changing life really so important in light of famished children and cancer and militants? And in light of so many of God’s kids not acknowledging Him as Father or His Son as brother?”
I began to feel pretty ridiculous out there crying and asking God for discernment, for the ‘what’s next’ in my one-person show.
“Who am I, O Lord, that you are even mindful of me? That you care for me?” Psalm 8:4 (Tress via King David)
King David wondered the same thing. That tender shepherd boy and bold warrior. That man after God’s own heart and bratty sinner. My heart’s cry was his heart’s cry millennia before me. It has been the question of many of God’s children.
I sat down at the water’s edge and pondered the question. Who Am I That God Cares For Me? Who Am I That He Would NOT Care For Me? The circle of life that the Master Creator designed by His own hands did not abandon His creation to fend for themselves but rather created the environments for them to thrive at the very purpose He created them for.
He ensured those earthworms could survive and fulfill their purpose within the ecosystem of soil, sustaining their life while providing nourished soil for the rolling fields of grass and corn and trees to grow.
He filled that river with fish so those majestic soaring eagles had dinner to swoop down and feed on.
Those towering trees were created with roots the burrowed deep into that nourished soil in order to hold them tight. They held their ground in windstorms and rainstorms and snowstorms, providing shelter for the deer and squirrels and eagles.
All of it so connected, lovingly provided for, strong and built to survive whatever nature throws at it. Created not just with purpose but with beauty to decorate the world’s landscape and for humankind to gaze upon and live within.
Tress, would God do all of that for a tree and earthworm… and then not you?
“I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way?” Psalm 8:3-4 (MSG)
He ensures the blazing hot stars don’t fall to the earth. That the earth’s core is NOT toasting our toes with its +-6000 Kelvins temperature. (I’m not a scientist but I am guessing that’s pretty hot!)
So, Tress, why would He ensure all of that and then not care for you and your tears and those around you who are hurting so deeply through this as well?
Who is mankind? Who is Tress? Who are Your children?
“You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:5 (NIV)
We are just a little lower than the angels. Crowned with glory and honor. We are not inoculated from storms and tragedies and grief and having our roots ripped up from the soil we believed to be planted in.
The We… is Me. Tress. So small in God’s mass creation. Yet, crowned with glory and honor. Lovingly cared for and placed in a wonderful community of people that I am connected to who stand with me to keep me strong, regardless of what the world throws at me.
I was not created simply to survive but with a beautiful purpose, for such a time as this. My journey, my pain, my lessons, my wisdom and even my sins, are all being redeemed through Jesus Christ.
And as the circle of life continues, they shall be used for those God connects into my life, to nourish them, hold them strong in their storms, when they are feeling small.
I will not give in or give up. I will not feel small. I will not live for me.
Rather, I will bring life, represent life, and testify to the One who wears THE crown of glory and honor… The Master Creator of Life, Himself, Three in One, Blessed Trinity.