Do you see Christ around you, friend? Do the delicate and the breathtaking call your heart to worship their Designer? Do the heartbreaks and the decay cause you to ache with the weight of the exile we live in and long for the day He returns? Do you see the world as it really is, friend, or could you use a refreshing reminder?
Have you lost your perspective in the monotony? Has the drudgery pounded you so far into the mud that you have forgotten how it feels to see this world with fresh eyes, to see your Creator in every corner, to truly worship Him, to long for His return and the redemption of this dying place? Can I come alongside of you and help you remember?
“All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made.”
“For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”
God in heaven created every piece of this world in, with, through, and for Christ. His handiwork is seen in every detail. Christ’s life, teachings, death, and resurrection as witnessed by thousands and recorded in Scripture are the greatest revelation of God’s character, heart, and plan. Yet you are not supposed to miss Christ in even a banana.
Have you considered how the world would stand in awe if scientists could develop a low-cost energy bar that could be made from dirt, yet taste appealing, and could be packaged in an entirely biodegradable wrapper which resists moisture, bacteria, and pests? A banana is an indescribably ingenious design, the blueprints for which are contained in a seed almost too small to see. A banana should move us to worship the Creator—not to mention the hundreds of other fruits and vegetables which arise out of that same dirt and arrive in single-portion servings in their own biodegradable wrappers.
Can you see your Father in heaven lovingly designing each fruit with His human children in mind? Can you see Christ calling the world around you into being as He packages the intricately-constructed DNA of each living thing inside their first cells—peaches, pears, and green beans; puppies, orcas, and parakeets—each designed and brought into this world through Christ and for Christ. That pine forest scent that you catch hiking in the Rocky Mountains was designed by Him. The enormous canvas above us that can twinkle at night yet glow with copper hues in the morning was His composition. He meant for us to see Him in it. He wanted us to stop and breathe it in and feel the glow on our faces, and long with our entire hearts for Him.
Do you see Christ around you, friend?
Image-bearers Trudging On
And yet, there is decay. There is evil here now. There is cancer. There is loss. We have fallen. We have been driven out. We are banished in this in-between world where we see Him in every cell, and yet we can feel utterly abandoned. It feels so long since He was here—so long that all we seemingly have are ancient stories and memories of memories. We find ourselves surrounded by millions of His image bearers who have entirely forgotten Him, who look each day through eyes that are too elaborately designed to fathom and yet, conclude that they see no evidence of Him. And though we know better—we know it in our minds—our spirits slowly forget.
The craving for sleep erodes our wonder for the sunrise. The eight-thousandth appearance of a banana deceives us into believing that a banana is mundane. And so we trudge on in this out-of-garden home where echoes of what once was ring out every day and yet we have grown deaf to them. We trudge on until something catches our eye, makes us stop and stare, and stirs in our soul a reminder of wonder, a reminder of Eden, of our Creator: fireflies in waving evening grasses, a trickling waterfall running down over mossy rocks, our first look at a child that grew inside of us. We remember then.
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth ... He Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth ... that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us, for “‘In Him we live and move and have our being...’”
Remember, friend, that you live and move and have your being in Him. Right now as you read this. Tonight as you lay your head down. Remember.
“For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.”
Lifting Weary Heads
Remember that we are not abandoned here. He came into this corrupted world. He walked beside us in our exile. He lived and died in our place to redeem us from this decay. His resurrection after death is a promise that He will raise His children out of this dirt and bring us home again. His Spirit walks beside us, guides us, whispers to us that He is still here. He is still here, and one day He will return for us.
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away... And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.’ And He who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”
Do you see Christ around you, friend? Do you long for His return to this decaying world? Lift your weary head and look again. He is here. His fingerprints are on every white daisy petal, every flickering bumble bee wing, every snowflake lacing the green pine needles. Pick up the Scriptures and read them again as letters He wrote so that you would never forget. Call out to Him. Worship Him. Give your life to know Him and to love Him. He is coming back. You can’t lose sight of that. Long for it, and when your brief few years on this earth are done, you will be able to say with the apostle Paul:
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
2 Tim. 4:7-8