The Testimony of Creation

Donald Miller once wrote “all the trees are losing their leaves, and not one of them is worried.”

I can’t tell you how much time has passed since I first read those words, but I can tell you that they still leave me in a mixed state of awestruck and convicted. I keep coming back to them.

I have always loved Autumn. Nothing quite compares to the way blue sky stretches to meet crinkly mustard and burnt sienna, and the swaying motion of crisp terra cotta as it dives towards the ground. Its all incredibly beautiful, but there is a much darker side: creeping death is at work. Soon, the trees will be skeletons, shivering in biting gray wind.

The earth is unafraid of what is about to take place. She does not struggle to maintain her grip.

Oh, how I have been afraid, and struggled to maintain my grip.

In the opening chapter of Romans, Paul tells the church at Rome that there is no excuse for not knowing God, when His glory can be found everywhere. By taking a look around us, His divine presence should be evident enough.

Christ tells us to consider the birds, how they don’t sow or reap or gather, and yet the Lord sustains them. Will He not provide for us, His children, in the same way? And look at the lilies, they don’t toil or spin, and yet they are dressed more beautifully than even the richest of kings. Simple grass, here today and gone tomorrow. How much more does Father God care for us? He knows what we need, and longs to be gracious.

Donald continues, “teach us what the flowers already know: that we’ll live and die, and You’ll clothe us — all for your glory.”

Eyes brim as I recall in scripture where it says that He is before all things, and in Him, all things hold together.  Even when I’m falling, even when it seems like I have been forgotten and all hope seems lost. Even when the pain of winter is so bitter, and springtime seems so far away. He is holding me together.

Is this not reason enough to praise?

Christ said that if we cease praising, the very rocks will cry out.

This is the testimony of creation: that we don’t have to worry about what may come tomorrow. Creation testifies to the heart of the Creator.

A friend tweets “Study God as Creator, because if He made you, then He can keep you, and if He can keep you, then He can always reach you. He’s strong enough to love you.”

God as Creator: His name literally means “the sound of breathing.” He spoke, breathed His life image into the world and all that is went through the process of becoming. He spoke perfection: once broken, but never beyond His reach. The Word became flesh, but even his own failed to recognize him, and how often do I err in the same way? How frequently do I go through my days without realizing the evidence of a grace-torn curtain, His glory unleashed?

Christ, entirely familiar with my afflictions, and yet without sin. He took my punishment. How could that be insufficient? And how much does He, who went to the ends of the earth to save once and for all, desire to bless with all things?

Knowing this, receiving it, is how we begin to live a life like the lilies, a life that wholly recognizes the sovereignty of God. The lilies live open, stretched upward, as though to say that they are ready to receive the grace.

He’s holding me together, in His love and mercy. He knows what I need before I ask. Nothing that happens here catches Him off guard — and all those nagging “what ifs” and all the creeping, crippling fear have no place when we rest in His presence, when we listen to the truth that He is speaking over us: that we are always loved, always within reach.

Coming to the AltarLinking up with The Nester and a host of other amazing bloggers for {31 Days}Returning to some words written last month in When Fear Throws Pebbles…

  • Erin, I love your understanding and insight gleaned from God’s Word. May I ask, have you studied the Bible for a while? What is your Biblical background? People ask me things like this sometimes and I just say…I just love the Bible! It probably sounds geeky but it is true. And as I have grown more familiar with it, my answer now is not just that I love the Bible, but that I love the Christ who is at the heart of the Scriptures. I love this passage in Acts. It gives me goosebumps to read Paul’s words.

    • Erin Salmon

      Hi, Rebekah! I actually minored in biblical and theological studies in college. It was an amazing time. I share your love for Paul’s words here. Thank you for the note of encouragement.

  • Beautiful post, rich and descriptive. Your artist’s heart displays your wisdom. I love this post – it inspires me, especially the notion of God as “the sound of breathing”.

    Headed to bed to rest in this for a while. Thanks for sharing.

    (found you randomly via the 31 Days link up…glad I did!)

    • Erin Salmon

      Thank you so much, Beth!

  • So much to digest here. I’m right there with you about the double-edged sword of autumn, its beauty and its sense of doom. Yesterday, I saw a middle-aged woman helping an old man down a step and I took a moment to think it through that he was not just an old man as if that had always been his identity, he was a person who had aged from where we are now to old age. It frightens me sometimes to think of what will become of our bodies and how different our experience of earth will someday be…and how it will end, and so the quotes by Donald Miller are such a ministry to me today. Those go hand in hand with Hebrews 2:15 how God stands to “deliver those who all their lifetime were subject to bondage through fear of death.” Thank you for nudging me to trust and submit to the process and His plan for redemption even as autumn haunts.

    • Erin Salmon

      This is so great, Darcy. And you’re right — its often scary to think of the aging process that we go through, and how much this life ends up costing us. I think we really have to grieve that, in a sense, and the Lord is so merciful to allow us that freedom. There is so much beauty on the other side, too. Springtime always comes around. Love that Hebrews verse that you shared. Thank you for the sweet encouragement.