Genesis 1:11 Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them; and it was so.
What a rich feast he spread for our eyes as well as our tongues—flowers large and bold, small and delicate; leaves of every shape and shade; moss and redwoods, pecans and peaches, tomatoes and peas, wheat and cinnamon. And he gave a constantly replenishing supply, with one plant yielding the seeds of a thousand more, so that no one should be without. The practicality of quinine and hemp, oak and cotton–a usefulness we have just begun to find–hides a wealth of resources and pleasures that boggle the mind, a treasure-house beyond reckoning. This is the world God made for us because he loves to delight us and takes pleasure in our joy. He never skimps, but always lavishes us with his best, even though his best is sometimes challenging.
The excess and richness of all that was created, just in the chemical composition of the world alone, provide not only all that is necessary for us and pleasing to our senses, but offer a level of complexity and possibility that are a limitless resource for our creativity: always more to discover, invent, master. Far more than gratifying our sensual pleasure, he filled the world with pleasures of the mind and set in us the gift of curiosity and adventure and the joys of developing our unique skills to fashion limitless innovations, making us co-creators. The world is our playbox, toolbox, art box, music box–we are like kids in a toy store. He is an exuberant giver, a father who revels in our joy.
Father, your once gorgeous world is now filled with darkness that attacks the light. My pain is often too deep for the pleasures of this world to reach. Your Son felt the ache of our brokenness and so earned the title “Man of Sorrows.” When I find no joy in your gifts, you are not critical or disappointed, but you rather weep with those who weep. In the light of such grace, I receive your gifts as I am able and even with a heavy heart find some sustenance from them as a widow might find solace for her great loss in the love letters left behind. Let me see in the residual goodness of this world a telltale sign of your infinite kindness and love.