Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Man-made or God-made?

This morning on the radio, the announcer was talking about the display that we see in spring, the beauty of the trees and flowers as they bloom and leaf out. He compared it to what we see at Christmas, with the lights and decorations. The Christmas displays have to be put up so, without human effort, there would be nothing to see. On the other hand, what we see in the spring is from God, and doesn't depend on human effort. The beauty of spring far surpasses that of Christmas.

I think the same thing is true in our lives. We try to please God by our own efforts, by trying harder to not sin, by doing more spiritual things, and by teaching others to do those things. So many times the result is something far less than beautiful. Sometimes it looks like a tacky artificial tree with the most fake looking ornaments, sometimes it looks simply ugly.

By contrast, we can recognize that it is only by the grace of a merciful Father that we have anything. Because God is merciful and loving, and because Jesus has died for us on the cross, we can rest in the fact that we are loved by the Creator of all things and are heirs along with Jesus. If we fall into that endless, amazing grace and let the Holy Spirit work in us and form us into the image of Christ, the result will be something beautiful and wondrous to behold. Like spring.

There is another thing to remember when other people don't seem to "get it" like we do. In spring, the plants don't all come out at the same time. Sometimes even plants of the same species are on a different schedule. So it is with God's children. We are all growing, just at different rates. Back when I was a teenager (way back in the dark ages), there was a popular saying among Christians: "Please be patient, God is not finished with me yet". We need to remember that.

1 comment:

re:patrick said...

Love the analogy (is that the right word for it?). Good reminder. :)


All of us have fathers. My father was a good man. Not perfect, but good. There never was a time when I didn't know he loved me. He was a...