Enjoying God’s Gifts
God has given us good things in the world and not only for their base use. Food is a gift that serves our needs far more than for basic survival. We have food in all its varieties, colors, and flavors to see that God is good and gives us good things. The sun does many things for us, but to only see the thing in the sky that provides light is to only see the sun. The sun is bright, large, and powerful, for us to see the majesty and glory of the Triune God. God gives us these gifts and we enjoy them. By enjoying them, we are enjoying Him.
This way of seeing the world has often been used by Christians as an apologetic means of defending the faith. The natural world gives evidence that there must be someone ordering things. So if you see the moon in the sky, then you know that someone made and placed the moon. If there is a moon, then there is a moon maker. As the old country saying goes, “if you see a turtle on a fence post then you know someone put it there.” Order demands someone must put things in order, because turtles don’t naturally climb fence posts. There are many, myself included, that find this way of understanding the world refreshing and helpful. God is a God of order and the foundation of logic. He gives us logic and knowledge to understand the world He has made and the wisdom to see the deeper meaning behind what He has created.
Seeing God in the Small Stuff
Unfortunately, seeing the natural world as ordered with deeper meaning is where many of us stop using this method of learning. When we see the natural world, we look and see what is made and what it points to, but we often fail to apply this principle to the seemingly smaller things in life.
We are able to see the sun, but not that which is right in front of us. We see the glory of God behind the sun and the existence of God in placing the sun in the sky, but we often fail to see what is behind a pile of dirty clothes and a living room scattered with toys. We fail to see that a pile of dirty clothes means a family lives in our home who we get to share our lives with.
We see a living room cluttered with toys and not the kids that we are blessed to call our own; kids who are happy and enjoying the gifts of God to them. It is easy to miss this and to become frustrated over all the work we have or the messes that need to be cleaned up.
Why do I do this? Because I want order and to be left alone. I want things in place and my clothes clean. In other words, my flesh is bent towards me and to look towards myself. Dirty clothes and a messy living room cause me frustration because I am bent inwards. God is an outward-looking God and gives us the sun, moon, turtles, clothes, toys, and kids as gifts for us to enjoy and to see His glory and I often miss it.
I dislike interruptions because they stop me from getting work done even when it’s someone calling, or stopping by to say hello, or asking my opinion on something because they love me and value my opinion. I let mere accomplishment and order take precedence over the people I’m writing for, preparing sermons and teaching lessons for, or over the kids that run in my office to show me their drawings and to tell me about the exciting time they just had in God’s world. I see a fence post only and not the oddity or humor of seeing a turtle on it.
It’s easy to miss the blessings of the good life because we are working so hard to have the good life. The good life is in the tasks that make us tired, the tasks that we seem to do all day. It’s in the cooking, cleaning, reading stories, going to work, working with others, providing for our families, talking with friends, enjoying good food and drinks, all while giving thanks that we have all of these things in front of us, that we have these messes to clean up and people to interrupt us. Without them there would be lots of work and no one to share the rewards with. Sure, we would have fewer messes and we’d have more time, but what is the good of having written an article if no one reads it and is helped by it, or a clean house if no one is there to live in it?
I’m learning to enjoy God’s world and His goodness more, even if it means it takes me longer to do the same thing over and over again. After, all He gave me these things to do: for His glory and my joy.