(Presented in Church Saturday January 19, 2019)
In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
So begins the greatest story ever told. The story that begins with creation. Over the next five days God created every around us. From the land and waters and Heaven on the second day, to all the plants and seeds on the third day, to the Sun and the Moon on the fourth day, to all the water creatures and flying creatures on the fifth day, leading ultimately to the creation of all the land animals and Man on the sixth day. And then He rested, not because He needed to, but to set an example of what WE need to do! The story of creation tells us how and when God created all the beauty around us that we are meant to love and enjoy.
For those of you that read my blog on a regular basis, you’ll know that for the month of December, leading up to Christmas Day, I posted daily on God’s Gifts in an advent calendar format. The greatest gift was written about on December 25th and that great gift was “salvation through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” That is the ultimate gift from God without compare.
But today, I’m not going to focus on that great gift, I’m going to talk about a beautiful gift from God that I wrote about on December 10th. That gift was God’s Paintbrush. We’ve all seen people that can paint beautiful pictures and even have an example of one hanging on the wall that was painted by Judy. But there is no painter on earth that can accomplish the beauty that God sends us with His brush.
As we look around us, no matter what the season, we see beauty in every form. Be that the animals that walk the earth or the plants that grow. There is beauty in everything.
In the middle of winter, as trees sleep and prepare for the coming spring, they become wrapped and covered in beautiful snow cover. The snow clings to the dormant branches and forms a coating blanket on everything. On warmer moist days, hoar frost will develop and the trees take on a special charm as the light shines off the clinging frost. And while it may be cold to walk in the winter, there is still beauty to be seen. His paintbrush extends to the night skies as we often see the dancing Northern Lights in greens and purples flash across the sky.
Many animals either hibernate or migrate away from winter, but a special thrill of mine is to see a rabbit running in the winter, completely covered in its winter coat of white that allows it to disappear amongst the snow drifts. Other animals like blue jays and chickadees battle for a space on the bird feeders. While larger animals like moose and deer struggle in the deep snow cover. God’s paintbrush is all around us in the winter.
But as spring begins to spring into life the colour changes from the browns and greys to the multitude of beautiful rainbow colours of the new growth of plants. The first colour is the greens of the leaves in trees as they wake from the long winter. Followed shortly by the first spring flowers of daffodils, crocuses, etc that will even poke through the last remnants of snow. We then start to see the young shoots of other plants or crops that the farmers have sown in their fields.
And the young animals that are born and emerge are beauty in their own right. The beautiful fluffy goslings or ducklings that follow along behind their parents. The first young deer, or calves that we see. Any young creature holds a special beauty as we see new life that God has created. Spring may be an exciting time for the beautiful colours of God’s paintbrush, but He doesn’t stop there.
Summer brings us a whole new selection of His paintbrush. We see the flowers blooming all around us. The trees are in full leaf and fruits begin to appear on the branches. Crops are in full growth and the beautiful bold yellow of the canola fields is everywhere on the Prairies especially. With the heat of summer, God’s paintbrush moves to the sky and we see the bright blue skies and fluffy white clouds. But also the streaks of lightening of a summer thunderstorm that brighten the night skies. We get the long bright summer days that produce endless heat that make us forget the long cold winter nights from six months earlier.
We frollic around in the beaches and parks, renewing our connection with God as we soak up His sunshine. The almost endless daylight and short nights give us lots of time to see the beauty all around us. Animals run freely in the rural areas allowing us to see His creation and His promise to us that we will all live in peace in His Kingdom.
And finally we move into fall and the brilliant reds, yellows, and golden colours emerge as the trees shed their leaves and prepare for winter’s sleep. The smells of fall emerge too, and life begins to slow down again. A walk through the forest in the fall provides stimulation to the eyes, ears and nose. Migrating geese and other birds fly over head in formation announcing their departure. Squirrels and other creatures are gathering their final bits of food to store for the winter. With the brilliance all around us, I find fall to be the greatest season of all.
In our busy lives, we don’t take the time to appreciate all that is around us. Years ago when people lived simpler lives you could tell they appreciated God’s paintbrush much more. The great painters of the past documented His beauty for generations to come. And while we can now document things instantly through photographs on our phones, do we really take the time to stop and look and appreciate all that God gave us to enjoy.
Eventually when this world passes on, and we’re part of the New earth, God will recreate everything new again, and we’ll once again be able to enjoy everything as He intended, until then, take time, look around, and enjoy what He gives us every day.