Gaze upon beauty

Last month I had the chance to see some of God’s most beautiful works of art. I visited Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota and Glacier National Park in Montana. I saw some unique rock formations, majestic mountains and beautiful lakes. It was good to take some time to look upon these wonders God has created.

In front of these beautiful sights you often find plaques that claim these things are the result of millions of years of the evolutionary process at work. How sad and foolish it is that some people think the intricately designed beauty came about by chance. As you look at the lake and the mountains and the jagged peaks and the snow and glacier glimmering in brightness as the sun shines upon it, you know a skilled, artistic designer had to have been at work. In art museums they do not have plaques saying a brush and a paint can happened to bang together and this painting came into being. They give credit to the artist, and we should do the same.

Many of us do not take much time to simply admire God’s artwork. We stop, snap a picture and move on. We have a schedule to keep, important things we think we have to do and places we have to be. We rush about as we try to do so much, and we fail to dwell on how much God has done.

The psalmist expressed his desire: “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple” (Psalm 27:4).

Gazing upon the beauty of the Lord doesn’t sound very productive. Our to-do list is long and gazing upon beauty usually isn’t on the list. We like to get things done that give us a feeling of accomplishment. Gazing upon beauty sounds like taking it easy, and what you do only if you have nothing else to do.

Gazing upon the beauty of the Lord won’t give us a sense that we have accomplished something; but it gives us things far more important. It can fill us with joy and awe as we think about what God has accomplished. The majestic mountains give us a sense of the greatness of God. A field full of wildflowers of various colors and kinds gives us a sense of the creativity of God. The vast ocean gives us a sense of the power of God. Gazing upon the beauty of Jesus as revealed in the Bible helps us to see God’s love and grace and great salvation.

Gazing upon the beauty of what God has done in creation and gazing upon His beauty as revealed in His Word are things we need to take more time to do. It’s okay to pause from being productive once in a while. Gaze upon our “Beautiful Savior, King of Creation.” Take a little time to think about how good and loving and gracious Jesus is. It can be truly productive time as it produces encouragement, strength and life-transformation.

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