Our summer housing has an unexpected bonus: a huge picture window that gives us daily glimpses of blue sky, massive clouds, majestic trees, and lush grass. Gazing at that beauty makes it easy to forget ISIS, gender confusion, and all the other hot topics in the news. Every time I look out the window I’m filled with a heart of praise for a creative and loving God who is also sovereign Lord of the universe. Does that mean I don’t care about world issues? Absolutely not.
Christians are not meant to keep their heads in the sand. More than anyone they are aware that we live in a world of in which all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. They know that sin corrupts and destroys everything it touches. But they are also given very clear commands in Scripture not to despair. In Mattew 24, Jesus warns the disciples of upcoming events (the antichrist, wars, earthquakes, famines, persecution, lawlessness) and then has the audacity to tell them “See that you are not alarmed” (verse 6). Other versions say, “Don’t be troubled” or “don’t panic.”
This chapter is proof that Christians are not pie-in-the-sky ignoramuses who ignore reality in light of paradise. God has called us to face reality head on. But we are to be so sure of His presence and His goodness, that we don’t fall to pieces. Yes, we live in a “world of woe,” but we as we set our minds on things above (Col 3:2), we find that God gives the grace to live – and flourish – whatever our circumstances.
My favorite “big picture” verse is Jeremiah 32:17. Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. NOTHING is too hard for you.
As we ponder the beauties of nature, we remember the faithfulness and power of their Creator. And we forge ahead by His grace.