Genesis 2:1 (NIV)
Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
The wonder and goodness of God’s creation, especially as it is painted in Genesis 1 and 2, is truly astounding. And Revelation 4:11b affirms the sustaining source of this good creation: “For you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.”
G.K. Chesterton called this “vast array” of incalculably configured elements “a magical universe.” Day and Night, Waters Above and Waters Below, Land and Seas, Plants and Trees, Sun and Moon, Stars and Starfields, Fish and Birds, Beasts and Rain and Clouds and Supernovas and Snow Flakes and Beauty—including Spirit-born Humankind—are all abounding, playing, rejoicing, in a world so bursting with majesty no one of us could ever take it all in.
And what keeps it all going? What keeps everything breathing, moving, orbiting, shining, growing, reproducing, providing, laughing, living, rising, blessing and stirring admiration in our souls? The ancient Hebrew people understood that it is the Spirit of God who sustains it all (Ps. 104:27-30), keeping it in glorious, breathtaking, motion.
Faith in Jesus Christ certainly concerns salvation when we die, and eternal life with God and one another in the New Creation to come. It does indeed concern the powerful redemptive and restorative messages that find their center in Jesus and his gospel. But faith in Christ also is concerned with the powerful meaning and purpose messages that weave through a gospel that finds its roots in Genesis 1 and 2.
I have several people in my life who have taken to caring for various aspects of creation as their sense of life calling from God. As my son says, whenever I recycle a can that I could just have easily thrown into the trash, “Well done, Dad—you’re doing the Lord’s work!” Why does that ring true?
The Spirit’s sustaining presence that keeps all of creation in motion, from the planets in our solar system orbiting the sun to the cow giving birth to a wobbly-legged calf, values what God has made. We’ve heard it said that God doesn’t make junk. While I understand the sentiment of that phrase and how it could be helpful to someone with low esteem, I prefer to flip the idea around. God only and ever makes glorious, beloved, reflections of his generous love!
“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good” (Gen. 1:31)! Jesus sustains it by his word (Heb. 1:1-3). The Spirit values the creation! If the Trinity says it’s good and it matters, so should we!
Join me in an exercise today. When you next walk out on your front porch, feeling the sun shining on your face and the light breeze brushing your face, thank the Holy Spirit for sustaining the world all around you! Thank the Holy Spirit for sustaining creation, and for giving you the privilege of walking in it, through it, and with it each day. Let your mealtime grace be filled with thanks for the provisions of the meal, the helping hands that touched each bit of it along the way to your table, and for the sustaining Spirit’s goodness to provide for you in each season of your journey.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for sustaining all things. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for sustaining me.
Jesus, I receive the Holy Spirit. You sustain all things around me, and keep this complex world alive at your loving command. Come, Holy Spirit, open me to truly see the glories of creation and your provision for me, that my thanks would spill over each new day you give me life.
What aspects of creation most move you? Is there a particular experience you have had that made you aware that God is the sustaining presence behind all the world that is?
For the Awakening,