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Blurred Vision - Do you have a clear concept of nature?

It is impossible for some, even well-meaning Christians, to fully understand the importance of country living and even gardening, for their foundational concept of nature has been perverted by the mass media and city dwelling. Today, nature has lost its primary role in man’s educational development. Rightly understood, nature is a textbook, a living, moving textbook, given to us by a loving Creator who wishes for us to learn of Him through His divine handwriting.

Yet, one may be troubled as to how nature can be a textbook. As you read through the Bible, you can clearly see God continually returning man to a natural environment that is suited to communion with Him. In Psalm 19 we read of the heavens declaring the glory of God, then in verses three and four it says, “There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world.” (Psalm 19:3,4) Also, we read from the pen of inspiration “ “God is love” is written upon every opening bud, upon every spire of springing grass.” (White, E.G. Steps to Christ p.10) “Upon every page of the great volume of His created works may still be traced His handwriting. Nature still speaks of her Creator.” (White, E.G. Christ Triumphant p.19).

Nature's Healing Way.....

It is clear that this textbook is universal as the earth is covered with a natural blanket but did you ever stop to think about it as a book? If it is a book then one should be able to read it or is it written in a language that cannot be read by man ? Can you read it? What do you see? Bugs and annoyances or a love letter written by your Creator? The first pair in the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, read it clearly. We are told, “The Garden of Eden was the schoolroom, nature was the lesson book, the Creator Himself was the instructor.” (White, E.G. Child Guidance p. 294) Even after sin we are told, “ ...Although the earth was blighted with the curse, nature was still to be man’s lesson book.” (Ibid p. 45)

So why can’t we read this textbook? It is because we are spiritually illiterate. As we drift away from God’s original plan of how and where we should live, we find ourselves losing our spiritual literacy and acquiring the language of Egypt. When we realize that “The things of nature are the Lord’s silent ministers, given to us to teach us spiritual truths.” (White, E.G. Adventist Home p.146), we understand why there is so much confusion in the Christian world. Remember Christ while on earth explaining the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven in such simple terms, yet men today are still confounded by them. Spiritual truths are so simple that even a child could understand them. The philosophical reasonings of man’s shallow intellect fall short of grasping and explaining the profound greatness of the Creator, for man refuses to rightly interpret His handwriting. Have you ever observed a child in nature? Such joy, so much enquiring and happy moments. Thus, when spiritual truths are viewed through the lens of nature, in its simplicity, clarity of understanding is achieved.

Where do we spend our moments of greatest happiness? Have we ever thought about where Christ spent His moments of greatest happiness? We are told, “It is for our health and happiness to go out of our houses, and spend as much of our time as possible in the open air.... He [Jesus] found recreation amidst the scenes of nature.... His hours of greatest happiness were found when He could turn aside from His labors to go into the fields, to meditate in the quiet valleys, to hold communion with God on the mountainside or amid the trees of the forest.” (White, E.G. Faith I Live By p. 233) How comfortable are we in quiet valleys, on the mountainside or amidst the trees in the forest? Would we be happy reading His handwriting in nature? Many try to read it on a computer or in a book but this is not as God intended. Many try to read it while surrounded with man’s handwriting in the city, seen in man’s architecture and man’s inventions. Thus they read of man and not God and become men pleasers and not obedient to God. Spiritual literacy can never be fully achieved in Egypt, this is why the Lord had to separate His people before they could fully learn of Him and serve Him. Worldliness will always lead to spiritual illiteracy and an inability to commune with God.

Our observations of things natural can be read like a textbook if we take time to let God teach us the language. Let’s take a sentence in nature as an example. Human beings are very visual and thus God reveals that which is unseen by the seen: In a tree, the root pattern mirrors the upper portion. The beginning of a river, often unseen, is mirrored in its seen portion. Also, when one reads Revelation 22:1,2, where the tree of life is described, the idea of a tree with a trunk reaching on either side of the river yet joined to the top is not a far fetched visual, as the anatomy of the lungs helps us to visualize it. Also, we find the word “consider” used in the Bible, consider the ravens (Luke 12:24), consider the ways of the ants (Proverbs 6:6), for as we think upon and consider God’s handiwork He reveals to us much spiritual truths. The patterns of nature are but a drop in the bucket of His marvelous works and His wonderful writings on the canvass of the earth and heavens.

A good mental foundation is therefore necessary when making decisions about country living and gardening. If it is done on a false foundation - like those who have a survival mentality and have calculated that the odds at survival is better in the country than the city or those who are just tired of the rat race... - the abundance of blessings possible would never be realized. Yes, in God’s mercy and in His classroom one may eventually realize the real reasons for the peaceful, happy life that country living affords, yet much time and heartache is speared by those who seek to follow God’s directions for the reasons He gave. So, when a decision is made to move into the country to engage in country living, you should understand that you are, in essence, moving into a God-appointed classroom where He can teach you many things. Also, likewise, when you are engaged in gardening, you are fully aware that you are involved in a God-appointed activity designed for your happiness. This is why neither country living nor gardening can be theoretically enjoyed, experience is essential for fulfillment of the blessings. As we live the life we are become living witnesses of His handiwork. Men would see and read of Him in our lives as we become a canvass written and read of men. May our concept of nature and its Creator find clarity in our daily experience with Christ.

Written by:

Nicole Belfast


Affiliated Article:

Be Like Jesus! - But where are the Carpenters?


Essential Reading Material:

Nature's Healing way...exhibits God's great power in nature to heal
Off-the-grid Country Dwellers

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