INTRODUCTION: Bob and Jeanette Lauer lead a large Sunday school class, which has been suspended during the COVID19 pandemic. For inspiration and connection, they now send out a weekly letter to the group. Enjoy this week’s Holy Spirit wisdom through Bob and Jeanette, and stay tuned for a September launch of their video teaching series.
Pastor Dr Bryan Stamper
If God is at work for our good in all things, what is He doing during this pandemic? It’s a legitimate question. Let’s think about one way to answer it. Recall that at the end of each creation day in Genesis, God surveyed His work and declared it “good.” Even though we are restricted in one aspect of God’s creation—our interaction with each other-- we can use this time to get better acquainted with the rest of God’s creation—everything from the stars in the heavens to the plants and animals that populate the earth.
Remember Helen Keller, who went blind and deaf at age two, but became a high functioning person under the tutelage of Anne Sullivan? One day Helen asked a friend who had just returned from a long walk in the woods what she had observed. The friend said nothing in particular. Helen was astonished at the friend’s reply. Here are her thoughts:
“I who cannot see find hundreds of things to interest me through mere touch. I feel the delicate symmetry of a leaf. I press my hands lovingly about the smooth skin of a silver birch, or the rough, shaggy bark of a pine. Surely God gives, or tries to give, to His people this kind of insight, this remarkable perception to see what others miss.”
“To see that which others miss.” Isn’t this a challenge for all of us? Let’s accept the challenge and do something each day to celebrate the wonder of God’s creation. For example, select an object of some kind from the world of nature. Perhaps start with something close at hand--an animal or plant or rock. What do you observe about it that you haven’t noticed before?
What impact does this have for your life? What does it teach you about the Creator?
In a sense, the Bible itself teaches us to do this. The book of Proverbs tells us to learn from the ant. The Torah’s directive to treat animals kindly reminds us of God’s loving concern for all creatures. David pondered the vastness of the star-splashed sky, which led him to have a sense of wonder at the immensity of God’s concern for us. Jesus referred to the lilies of the field when He taught us about God’s provision for our needs.
If you have a computer, be sure to use it to help you in your exploration. It will open up a vast store of information when you go online and search for an object. For example, we searched for “flowers in the Bible.” A wealth of pictures and information resulted. Among other things, we learned of an inspirational quote from Martin Luther: “God writes the gospel not in the Bible alone, but on trees, and flowers, and clouds, and stars.” And we were directed to more than two dozen verses that talk about flowers, verses that talk about the brevity of life but also the beauty of life and the hope of a new life. Much food for thought!
“The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail” (Isaiah 58:11)
Jeanette and Bob