Pretty, huh? The fireworks above. I didn’t see any last night, save for a few out my back window about 9:00. None on TV. I’d tell you what time I went to bed, but then you’d know what a party animal I am, and I wouldn’t want to ruin my image.
I’ve always loved fireworks and am still in awe of the whole pyrotechnic thing. I love how they start out small and condensed, plain and unattractive in appearance, and end up huge and beautiful, with colors so bright they draw you in and make you smile. For a few seconds…and then they disappear.
As I gaze at the photo, I’m thinking there are a few truths and life lessons I could piggyback on the facts about fireworks. Their short lifespan reminds one of the fleetingness of this existence. Their awesomeness resulting from a single spark speaks to the potential in each one of us. But the one I sensed nudging me to open up this here word processor was the plain fact of their joy-inspiring beauty.
I’ve been writing a lot about things that are wrong in the world. But the fireworks remind me that there is much that is beautiful, and that beauty is from the mind of God. He didn’t directly create the dazzling magnificence of these pyrotechnic wonders. But he created the elements that combine to form them, the atmosphere that allows them to explode in symmetry, the energy in various wavelengths that result in almost limitless colors, the eye that is so wondrously designed to behold them, and the human mind that can craft them and marvel at their brilliance.
God did directly create the beauty of the butterfly, the Rockies, and the rose. He intentionally fashioned the sunset, the moon, and the star-filled sky. His fingertips are seen in the graceful curves of a horse, the snow-covered branches of the evergreen, and the mesmerizing hue of fall leaves, embracing their impending demise in a blaze of glory. And have you seen a little child lately?
Beauty was God’s idea, and he is still in the business of it, even in the midst of all the ugliness we’ve created. Whether it’s a night sky filled with fireworks or blanketed with stars, the sun setting over the ocean or the nearest tenement house, the eyes of your newborn child or your saintly grandmother, he gives us beauty to enjoy each day. And why? Just because, you might say. Because it brings joy, and a loving Father loves to see his children smile.
And if this life has so much beauty in it, even though it is so tainted with sin and sadness, how much more will the next life have when sin and sadness, tears and pain, will be no more? I don’t think our earthbound minds and senses can fathom it.
But we can take it by faith that Heaven will be beautiful beyond our wildest imaginations. Because we know the One who created beauty…and our imaginations. And his omnipotence and creative genius give us confidence that we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.
“God did directly create the beauty of the butterfly, the Rockies, and the rose”
I might agree with you on the creation myth, but since you put it this way, you have to agree with me that God also created Aids, Tuberculosis, Measles, Chickenpox, Anthrax, flu, polio, cholera, plague, hepatitis, rabies… Do I need to list all of them? And guess what? God did not help us create vaccines and medicie against them, we humans cracked God’s will and intention (I cannot think of one single reason for any of the above horrible illnesses, thus God’s will must have been infecting human beings with these diseases). Vaccines are the triumph of human engineering and science on God’s will. I bet that you are vaccined as well? Why is that if God’s will was to infect you with one or more of them? You have accepted the products of science (vaccines, phones, computers, cars, HVAC, etc.) but you have rejected its methods (being skeptical, questioning arguments from authorities, base your discoveries on demonstrable facts that can be tested)
Humans, greedy and malevolent could be saved millions of lives with science’s discoveries… God did not
poisonous animals and insects
I do agree with you that because God is completely sovereign, diseases exist because he either created them or allowed them to exist. In the book of Job, Satan is recorded as inflicting Job with boils and sores, but only after getting permission from God. Why God allowed that isn’t exactly clear from the text, but it is possible to come up with a plausible reason. You might want to read my posts about that from September under Faith.
Reconciling the reality of pain and suffering with a good and loving God can be difficult. But we can accept that they can be reconciled if we keep a few things in mind. God gave us the ability to make our own choices and even reject him…and so we do. But just as any father would be considered weak and unworthy of respect if he let his children disobey him without any consequences, so too God decrees consequences for sin. And they will always be unpleasant…or they wouldn’t be effective. That’s not to say that all suffering is punishment for sin, but some is.
Secondly, because human beings tend to want to be self-sufficient and in control of their own lives apart from God, and God knows the best thing for us is to know and submit to him, he often uses suffering to wake us up to our need for him. For our good.
Also important to remember is that this life is not all there is. If it was, I would reject the notion of God myself, because it’s just not fair. But all things will be made right in the next life that haven’t been made right here. The innocent will be compensated, the just rewarded, and the wicked punished.
About God’s involvement or not in creating vaccines and the like…if you accept that God exists and that he is invisible and has limitless power, it is completely reasonable to believe that he can and does orchestrate events to bring about a desired result…like the discovery or invention of a beneficial medical treatment. And like I said in my post, he created the brains and minds of every human being, which make discoveries and inventions possible.
If you wish to respond again, I will try and address all your objections. Please try and be more clear though. I had difficulty understanding some of what you were getting at. Thanks.