WHEN was the last time you marveled at creation and stood in awe of the Creator? John Chrysostom mentions a twofold book of God: the book of the creatures, and the book of the scriptures. St. Bernard of Clairvaux, an abbot said: “You will find something far greater in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you cannot learn from the masters.” Did not Solomon ask us to go and learn from the ants? (Proverbs 6:6) However, creation in particular has been a powerful apologetic to the suffering humans in history.
Job, an early patriarch lost his health, wealth, children (who are a gift of God) and wife though she was alive (who is also described in the Bible as a gift of God). His friends were not his friends at all times (unlike the definition of a friend in Proverbs 17:17). A frail and feeble Job, singled out from all human relationships would have expected a soothing word from God. But God neither soothed him nor reasoned out the cause of his suffering (which was already attempted through rounds of talks from his friends).
God rather gave a serious lecture to Job in his time of suffering about His creation in four chapters! (Job 38-41). Through the long discourse God made Job to realize his sovereignty over his creatures. No wonder the wise man that Job was responded point blank to God: “I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted. Surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” (Job 42:2-3) It was only when Job realized that God need not reveal his purposes behind all that is happening around, that God restored and blessed him in a double measure than his old prosperous times.
The Israelites were expecting an answer from God regarding the unjust situation going around them. They complained to a God who they thought could not see and hear. They said that their way is hidden from the LORD and their cause is disregarded by their God (Isaiah 40:27). God did not jump to their deliverance, rather asked them to lift their eyes and look to the heavens and think about this: Who created all these? He, who brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing (Isaiah 40:26). God continued, saying, “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.” (verses 28-29) We do not have a reference to the reaction of the Israelites. However, we find prophet Isaiah responding. He sees an analogy of a potter in his creator God. He said: “Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”(Isaiah 64:8) History records that this prophet who surrendered to the sovereignty of God was considered worthy to die as a martyr for his creator.
Finally, heed to the words of Jesus Christ: Look at the birds of the air and the grass of the field. Do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:26-33)
In times of sufferings and worries, God calls us to consider the creation and our creator. Why don’t we consider taking time to enjoy creation and draw our strength from it?
Grace and her husband Suresh Rajan are part of Charis Seva Mandal which works for the socially and geographically isolated communities.