The Lord by wisdom founded the earth.
— Proverbs 3:19
In March, the Center for Faith and Culture Mentorship Program went on a field trip to the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh, North Carolina. I brought two of my daughters along with me, one of whom was celebrating her seventh birthday at one of her favorite places. My daughters were particularly interested in the butterflies, life-sized dinosaur models, whale skeletons and submarine simulator. Now I admit, I enjoy those things as well.
But I was most interested in something more subtle — the rocks and gems. I had rarely noticed the diversity of pattern and color in even common rocks before. Surely the beauty of things that we step on and often ignore tells us something about the character of the God who made these rocks. So, what can rocks tell us about God?
1. God loves beauty.
The evidence of the beauty of God’s creation is all around us every day — trees and flowers, planets and stars, rivers and oceans, clouds and seasons. These easily observable parts of nature testify to the fact that our God has made a creation filled with incredible beauty. Yet this beauty is also displayed in places that are not easily accessible for us. From the tops of mountains to the depths of the earth to the farthest edges of space, color and wonder fill creation, even where human beings have no ability to go or see.
Not only does he love beauty, but the biblical God has the ability to enjoy it all. We humans are limited by our sometimes unreliable senses, our location and our power. But God does not have any of these limitations. He is limitlessly creative and delightful. Revelation 21 even tells us in that the city walls in the New Heavens and New Earth will be made up of the most extravagant jewels, but unlike on earth, they will be on display for every inhabitant to see.
2. His glory is displayed in surprising places.
Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
— Job 38:4a
While taking in the rocks, minerals, and gems, I was struck not only by their beauty, and also the incredible reality that some of these things could have been under the earth for thousands of years before human beings ever set eyes on them. While the museum puts them in special displays full of light, many of these objects were taken from places that were totally dark. What an amazing God who displays his glory through magnificent pattern and color, even in complete darkness!
3. There is always more to be seen.
He split rocks in the wilderness
and gave them drink abundantly as from the deep.
— Psalm 78:15
While humans have mined the depths of many places on earth, there are so many more we cannot access. Just as some of the most amazing displays of color exist thousands of lightyears away from earth in space, others are still held in the earth right beneath us, where only God can see and enjoy them. This tells us something about God, whose creativity is never exhausted or depleted by human ingenuity or curiosity. Though we may often fail to see, we can never get to the end of God’s glory.
Have you ever stopped to reflect on all the beauty in the universe that no one but God has ever seen? It’s like there is a whole world that is inaccessible to anyone but God. Yet even if we cannot see it, we can rejoice that our God can.
Maybe you’re stuck in quarantine, weary of your home’s four walls, where it’s easy to get caught up in our present circumstances and forget what else is out there. But let’s not forget that our God does not have a limited perspective. Think about and rejoice in this God, praising him for his goodness throughout all the earth. Perhaps to some people, a rock is not something special; it’s dull, cold, lifeless. But if you have eyes to see, a rock can be one of the most colorful, extravagant and extraordinary things on earth. Do not take for granted how creative and wonderful the creator God is. Reflect on the inexhaustible creativity and beauty of God.
James was a member of this year’s Center for Faith and Culture Mentorship Program. This year’s theme was faith and the sciences.