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The Best Things in Life Really are Free

January 19, 2017

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” Genesis 1:31

Recently I read the creation narratives in Genesis 1:1-31; 2:1-25. I’ve read them lots of times, but something special emerged this time. That’s one of the things that is so wonderful about God’s Word—it prompts lots of “Wow! I’ve never seen that before” reactions!

I have a pretty strong aesthetic side. I love stunning sunsets, birds at our bird feeder, fragrant gardens, the smell of freshly cut grass, a rising harvest moon, the crashing waves of the sea, a burbling brook cascading over the rocks through the forest, and the warmth of the sun on my face. I love the massive power of a lion’s roar, and get a kick out of watching the busy squirrels in my backyard risk their lives by jumping from tree to tree on flimsy branches 30 feet off the ground. And who doesn’t thrill at the colors of fall, which put to shame my lame attempts to match clothes early in the morning! And, best of all, my wife Martie still excites and entices me. I easily identify with God’s statement when He observed, “It is not good for the man to be alone!” (Genesis 2:18). Imagine how Adam must have felt when he woke up to see Eve standing there. He was no longer alone in many wonderful ways.

What impacted my heart when I read the creation story was the reality that all of this spectacular provision of God is a gift from Him to me. It is free, profoundly yet beautifully simple, satisfying, always fresh, always new, and intriguingly diverse. It stimulates my emotions, triggers my curiosity, and does something good way down deep inside. I agree with God when He said that it was “good.” It’s really good!

And what grabbed my head was the thought that compared to what man creates, God’s awe-inspiring creation is far more worthy and compelling. We create things that intrigue for the moment but rarely, if ever, satisfy in the long run. Our best stuff becomes outdated and quickly loses its capacity to thrill and excite. Where do you think the phrase “been there, done that” comes from? Not from God’s creation, that’s for sure!

The stuff that usually attracts my attention and triggers my consumer instinct is headed for the dumpster only to be buried in a garbage mountain dotted with stink pipes to vent the toxic gasses of its demise. Even the car that I love is headed for the giant metal crusher to be recycled into another nifty car that is destined for the same fate. High-tech toys are soon low-tech relics of the past. Which, when I think about it, makes me feel a lot like the proverbial donkey chasing the carrot.

So, bravo for God, who once more outstrips all the best efforts of any competitor and provides something to take me beyond my tiny, usually disappointing world. And to think that He made us with the capacity to appreciate and enjoy all that He has made! How dull it would be if He had made this greatest show on earth and not wired us with the equipment to be enraptured by it all.

The next time you see the sky ablaze with a spectacular sunset or marvel at the stars and the depth of the universe on a cloudless night, don’t just say, “What a wonderful sight!” Find your heart rejoicing: “What an awesome God!”

Take time to smell the roses. Or, to be more specific, to worship and glorify God for the really good stuff He has given us! When you do, you’ll never stop being amazed at how marvelous our God really is!

YOUR JOURNEY…

  • Think of how you feel about something you cherish that is manmade. Do you tend to worship it? When was the last time you worshiped God by cherishing His creation?
  • Take some time today to observe some of the good aspects of God’s creation. Make a mental list of those things and express your appreciation to God for the way His creation satisfies you. Be specific!
  • Read Paul’s advice to Timothy in 1 Timothy 6:17. What things has God richly provided for your enjoyment?