“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.” – Hebrews 11:3
“For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.” – Colossians 1:16
The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam is one of my most favorite of the numerous museums in the world. I am enamored by Van Gogh’s skill and technique as an artist. He is a Neo-impressionist and practiced a technique called Pointillism. His colors are vibrant, and though a bit distorted from reality you can always tell, unlike some of the modernist painters, what it is that he is painting. But no matter how unrealistic a painting may be, shapes, colors, technique, it never has anything within it that is completely unique from what already is within the visible universe.
Everything in creation correlates to shapes, colors, humans, animals, plants, etc. which are and have been observed, even if it is a Star Wars type character or other-worldly, fictitious alien, allegedly from another planet, galaxy, or what have you. They always have legs, arms, mouth, nose, eye(s) even if garishly concocted or placed, like a cyclops; it is what we know, so our minds devise how to put it on canvas or movie screen. But no one is able to invent something totally unique. We cannot do it. Only the original Creator can. He designed and made what is. We are mere copyists; we are not creators in the same mold or ability as God. We cannot even imagine what is totally unique to anything which is.
To create ex nihilo, out of nothing, is God’s capacity alone. He is the magnificent designer and maker of all things and all beings. And what a grand designer He is, from the smallest to the greatest; from the intricate alpine flower to the expanse of the Milky Way. To observe all, to wonder, to be amazed, intrigued, entertained, is all to your benefit and happiness. The glory of God is made manifest by what He has made, and as creatures we can bask in His glory. You can take it all for granted, and be a miserable ingrate, to not be visibly, verbally, and consciously thankful for His marvelous grace in placing you in the midst of such a creation. And, then, for you who have believed, to anticipate living in the new heavens and earth which will continually thrill your eyes, your every experience, and your heart for eternity. It is too much to take in!
We should not be so overcome by our present pain to not allow who He is and what He has surely promised you in your future to effect within you a constantly thankful heart, a spirit of joy which will not be diminished. Pain and sorrow have many sources and impacts in your life, but your Creator, Redeemer, Father, and Friend rises above them all. Faith sees Him, believes His promises, and will not be dismayed. Like Abraham before you did by faith, see Him who is invisible, anticipate a city and a kingdom without foundations, whose architect and builder is God, for It will one day be your home!
“All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all. Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings, he made their glowing colors, he made their tiny wings. The purple headed mountain, the river running by, the sunset and the morning that brightens up the sky. He gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell, how great is God Almighty, who has made all things well.”
(1st, 2nd, and 5th verse of Cecil Alexander’s hymn, “All Things Bright and Beautiful,” 1848)
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