“…ask the beasts, and they will teach you:
And the birds of the air, and they will tell you…” (Job 12:7)
“The works of the Lord are great, studied by all who have pleasure in them”
Through God’s creation we can be taught. We miss out on much that God has clearly put on display for our benefit through the works of His hand—exhibiting His eternal power & Godhead (Rom. 1:19-20). Just look at 4 things that are little on earth but exceedingly wise: the ant, the rock badger, the locust and the spider (Prov. 30:24-28). The ant is used again as an illustration of being industrious instead of being a sluggard (Prov. 6:6-8). Who better to illustrate the lessons we can learn from God’s creation than from the Creator Himself (John 1:1-3, Colossians 1:15-17)? When Jesus graced the earth he incorporated many visual examples of creation to teach spiritual truths such as: studying the birds of the air and the lilies of the field to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of worry (Matt. 6:25-31); sheep and things related to them to demonstrate that He’s the good Shepherd and what that means (John 10:1-17); and the grape vine to illustrate the benefits of dependence on Him versus self-sufficiency (John 15:1-8).
A personal illustration of this is through our beloved old ( 13+ year) English bulldog, Buster, who recently passed away. One of the first lessons of owning a bulldog is to have patience. They aren’t like other dogs. After previously owning a Labrador retriever we weren’t quite sure of what we had on our hands after bringing Buster home. When we took him outside he would just sit on the sidewalk for a while before he decided to ‘take care of his business’. The same applied for taking him on a walk or when my husband took him to the lumber yard where he works. It was clear he wanted to go as he’d slowly make his way to the door but he wasn’t in any hurry. It seemed like much of the time I was and so this also gave me pause as to why? I learned to allow for “Buster time” and started to understand better the patience (and long suffering) of the Lord with me and mankind in general (Ps. 86:15, 2 Pet. 3:9). Buster also gave us, as well as others who knew him, joy just by his presence—his lovable frumpy face, his unusual snorts & the other funny noises he’d make. It was no surprise that he was coined the ‘morale booster’ at my husband’s work place and the request was often made by many of Buster’s (aka Mr. B’s) lady friends there to bring him in on a regular basis. In God’s design for our fallen world there is a season & time to every purpose and work under heaven—even a time to laugh & weep (Eccl. 3:1, 7, 4). Life is but a vapor—death is a reminder of the temporalness of life in this world and the truth to keep our sight on ‘things above’ & meditate on the good, true, noble, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, praiseworthy & things that bring a good report—rejoicing in the Lord always, being content no matter the state of our circumstances good or bad as it’s Christ whose grace is sufficient—whose strength is enough & whose provisions supply all our needs (James 4:14; Col. 3:1-3, Phil. 4:8, 4, 11-13, 19; 2 Cor. 12:9). Take some time this spring to examine some of the Lord’s great handiwork & the life lessons they reveal.
“O Lord, You are my God; I will exalt You; I will praise Your name, for You have done wonderful things, plans formed of old faithful and sure” (Isa. 25:1).
The Lord speaking, “For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it” (Isa. 55:10-11).