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Posts Tagged ‘Creator God’

One recent afternoon, we heard a loud ‘rat-a-tat-tat’ at our front door and found our lovely friend there, holding a small, glass vase in her hand that contained a beautiful, pink camelia and some dainty, little blue flowers.

‘This is for you,’ she told me. ‘Someone gave me this camelia and it’s so perfect, I thought you would enjoy it too. The little blue flowers are forget-me-nots.’

After she left, I sat gazing at those beautiful flowers for a long time. The camelia was indeed exquisite, almost salmon pink in colour, with each petal overlapping the next in such an orderly, perfect way and changing to a lighter shade as the petals spiralled out from the centre. But the forget-me-nots captured my attention too, the dainty, baby-blue flowers in each cluster absolutely perfect in themselves, with their bright yellow centres and white, starlike markings on the tiny petals. How could so much beauty exist in such minuscule form? Surely only the hand of a loving, overwhelmingly creative God could produce something amazing like this?

I remembered then the first few lines of a poem I wrote some years ago on this same theme:

Did you have fun, Lord, creating such beauty

for us your children to enjoy?

It’s as if in pure delight you waved your palette high

and splashed your vibrant colours everywhere with glee,

as if you had to share each fresh design of flower

and then, in pure extravagance,

add speckles to already perfect petals.

Truly, the natural world around us brims with wonderful extravagances of colour and design and intricacy. And it has always blown my mind that many of the tiny flowers and plants and animals and insects created by God will never even be seen by human beings. Perhaps their habitat is some hidden corner in a jungle or some isolated spot in a dry, desert area, far from any sort of civilisation—yet still they flourish. Thomas Gray expressed this same thought in his poem ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’ which I remember being drawn to in my early teens when we studied it in our English class:

Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,           

  And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

But, above all, as I sat gazing at my little posy, I remembered some words Jesus once said that encourage us not to worry:

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?” Matthew 6:28-30

I continued sitting there for some time, sensing God’s presence around me and taking in the lesson I was doubtless being taught through my special flowers. Yes, I could indeed trust God to provide for me and those close to me in every way. I need not worry, because I belong to a loving, creative God who is more than able to care for me—and for you. Surely a lesson worth learning all over again, don’t you think?

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I sometimes seem to live my life as if those around me are going to be here forever, even if they are not young anymore. Of course they will be there to talk to, I think. Of course we can do this or that together. Then the day comes when they are not there any longer and I am shocked. How can this be?

In my more rational moments, I know this is not how things work. Our time on earth is finite, however much we may try to stave off that day. People become ill and cannot be cured. Terrible disasters occur, ending even young lives, while those of us who are left become older and frailer. Yet it can still be hard to accept another’s death, whatever age they are. They were here. They were real. They were alive—and now they are no longer.

This past week, we heard of the deaths of two older friends. The first was a gentleman in his nineties who always impressed us with his zest for life and his deep commitment to God and his church. Even until the last year or two, he would bake trays of cakes for youth and outreach events at church or for the spring fair in the village where we live. He also loved writing and art and singing—he was an all-round creative person. Right now, I believe he will be rejoicing in heaven in the perfect presence of his Creator God, which is wonderful. Yet it seemed to us as if this larger-than-life person would always be here.

The second person was our lovely neighbour, Ruth, who used to live in the unit opposite us, until moving into aged care. She was in her eighties and had been unwell for some years, yet each day when she could, she would sit on her little stool, digging in her garden and caring for each plant and flower. She was a writer too—such an intelligent, interesting person. But above all, she loved God wholeheartedly and served in the Salvation Army all her life. We were still in the process of moving into our unit when she told me she had been praying for us for some time. And, on occasions, she would come to our door, holding some beans or tomatoes or other produce from her garden, and tell me they were a gift to us as ‘first fruits’ from her harvest. It is wonderful to think that, right now, she too is completely whole again in God’s presence. She was a faithful soldier all her life—and now she has marched right on into heaven.

This news of the passing of these two faithful soldiers has made me look at my own life again. There is no doubt both loved God with all their hearts. They served God and others their whole lives and were ready to meet their Lord. In my mind, I can hear each of them saying, along with the Apostle Paul, not in any boasting way but as mere statements of fact:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 2 Timothy 4:7

Whenever my turn comes, I want to be able to say that too, with humility but also with deep certainty, don’t you?

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