“There is an epidemic of spiritual amnesia going around, and none of us is immune. No matter how many fascinating details we learn about God’s creation, no matter how many pictures we see of His galaxies and no matter how many sunsets we watch, we still forget. Most of us know that we are supposed to love and fear God; that we are supposed to read our Bibles and pray so that we can get to know Him better; that we are supposed to worship Him with our lives. But actually living it out is challenging. It confuses us when loving God is hard. Shouldn’t it be easy to love a God so wonderful? When we love God because we feel we should love Him, instead of genuinely loving out of our true selves, we have forgotten who God really is. Our amnesia is faring up again.” – Francis Chan, Crazy Love.
So often I forget the depth of God’s goodness, mercy, love, justice, forgiveness, provision, grace, and holiness. I forget to see God in truth, and subsequently, I forget to see myself in truth. But the heart of the matter? God is faithful and He is good. His mercy is deep. His love astounds me.
Recently I discovered this quote, Plato said, “Beauty makes truth splendid.” I love this. It is so true within my own heart and life. “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse” Romans 1:20.
I have always seen truth most clearly when I am in the middle of God’s creation, sitting in front of a lake, watching it ripple into shore; walking through the woods, stepping across roots which penetrate the trail and lead to tall trees standing side by side and reaching into the heavens; or hiking a mountain, looking over the vast scene from the top. These are the moments when I am overtaken by the beauty of God and I rediscover the profound simplicity of my relationship with Him, knowing He is God and I am not. It is in these moments that my soul is invited to be still in His presence as He speaks peace to my heart. It is in these moments when what seems confusing, burdensome, or overwhelming in my life is ushered away by this beauty, truth, and peace. It is in these moments that I find renewed reason to surrender to the God who created all of this, yet somehow desires intimate relationship with me.
Lately I have been reminded of this as I commute to my internship several times each week. As I merge onto the highway, the clutter bordering the streets clears to reveal an open sky. Here an expanse of clouds greets me. Each day it is different, a fresh canvas, a new reminder. It reminds me of the times growing up when my Mom would exclaim at the sight of pinks and blues and purples streaked across the sky “Look at the sky! Jesus painted that sky for you!” It reminds me of the times my Dad would call me out to the front yard, with the changing seasons, to lay on the grass and stare up at the maple tree and see how the leaves or branches stretched across the backdrop of the sky. But more than this it reminds me of the character of God as Creator, Sustainer, Provider, Redeemer, and the one who makes all things new. It is as if He proclaims, “look at the sky! I painted that sky for you!” and whispers peace to me. It reminds me, as I surrender, He will use the same pallet as He orchestrates my own life–who I become and where He will lead. It is in these moments that “Beauty makes truth splendid.” God is Wonderful; and God is faithful.