What are we to make of the extravagance and abundance of creation? What does it tell us about the artist that created it? Or to put it differently, what does it tell us about the character of Jesus, for He is the author of creation; “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” John 1:3.
If I was to choose a single word to express what creation tells us about Jesus I would say; “generous”. Creation is a gift of staggering abundance and variety it could almost be described as wasteful.
Every year, without exception over the millennia, we are blessed with autumn colours. Colours often so rich that it takes us by surprise. Every year, without fail, someone will say “the autumn colours are amazing this year”. I am not sure they are but rather they never fail to make us wonder anew at their beauty.
But what is most amazing about autumn colour is the abundance of it. All across the world leaves turn shades of yellow, orange, and red then they fall to the ground and rot away. Thousands of unique pieces of art on every tree, the majority of which will never be seen by man but the trees will still display their glory. Or perhaps I should say the trees display “His” glory.
Hoar frost is another example. On cold and humid nights ice crystals will cover the landscape. Beautiful crystals, all totally unique. Creating a blanket of jewels. But then the sun comes up and they melt away in an instant.
Morning dew is another. Perfect little droplets of water caught in between leaves and moss, reflecting light and watering the flora. But as the day warms up the dew simply evaporates. It is abundance on a cosmic scale that only God could conceive of. Annie Dillard put it beautifully when she said;
“The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand”
But there is also something utterly unique in the generosity of Jesus. And that is that it is totally free from hidden agenda or personal gain. He gives generously, extravagantly so, but yet He is not doing so to gain our approval or our acceptance or out of a need for our love and admiration. And that is unique.
I say it is unique because I don’t believe our generosity is ever completely free from hidden agenda. The brokenness within us is forever striving for recognition and validation and it can be very subtle at times. Giving money away to a charity we have just heard about is generous for sure but it always comes with a warm glow of satisfaction. We do it, perhaps only in some small way, because it makes us feel better and feel like we are doing enough. Or helping a friend in distress is kind and generous but there is also a part of us that does it because we want to be liked. Our generosity is motivated, at least in part, out of need.
But Jesus has no such need. He is not in need of validation in the way that we are for He knows He is utterly adored by His heavenly Father. And so He gives freely.
He is Generous yet Free.
Grid Ref is intended to help re-orientate men along the narrow path and are a mixture of personal testimonies and reflections from the A&D Team.