A favored spot is sitting in my backyard in the early afternoon shade of the pines while marveling with admiration at the beauty around me. A Calibrachoa plant that survived the winter is dazzling me with her Candy Shop Fancy Berry brilliance. My new Purslane plants never disappoint, besides many others, and not the least of these, a determined Hydrangea that has recovered from an earlier freeze to heroically produce flowerheads of a lovely color.
Admiration grows because of the truth of Scripture! Sin has corrupted our world so much so, that not only does man battle a sin nature, but the ground has been cursed and every living thing is affected and has fallen from a perfect state. “. . . creation [has been changed] slavery to corruption . . . For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together . . . “(Romans 8:21-22, NASB). “. . . Cursed is the ground . . .” (Genesis 3:17). Wait one minute! What generates admiration from truth such as that?
Because, even in a sin cursed world, God continues to shower us with a level of beauty and wonder, not because we deserve it but because He cannot change (Psalm 19:1; James 1:17). Just as God’s characteristics of love, goodness, and holiness are ever before us, His beauty will stand forever. So, my heart rejoices in His kindness to still allow beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3) and it marvels in the anticipation of the glory to come when everything will be set right again like the Garden of Eden (Ezekiel 36:35). Can you imagine the depth of beauty that will be on display?
But even more than creation being set free, is the glory of man being set free from the law of sin and death by Christ Jesus Who was raised from the dead (Romans 8:2, 11)! Therefore, if the Spirit of God reins in our mortal bodies, we have been adopted by God and sin has no rights over us, even in this cursed world manipulated by the devil and his demons. Do you hear me? We have nothing to fear! Read Romans 8 for yourself. It is packed with Truth that promotes an awe and wonderment (worship) and provides peace for our head and heart!
So then, just as the beauty I find in my brilliant-colored Green Giants and the new growth of my Tea Olive so shiny and sprouting taller and taller, I know that my heart has the same capacity to grow and “overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us” (Romans 8:37). But just as these plants can sometimes fall prey to freezing weather, not to mention disease, since we are not in that perfected state yet, so we also can fall prey to the devil and his demons, to false teachers and wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Our only hope is the Truth of Scripture.
Keep your heart and mind in the beauty of God’s Word; Make it your favorite spot!