Creativity: relating to or involving the use of the imagination or original ideas to design or fashion something
Creative in Beauty
Our God is creative.
He created the heavens and the earth out of nothing (Genesis 1:1, Hebrews 11:3). In fact, several amazing angels shouted out that His creative glory fills the earth (Isaiah 6:3). His handiwork is everywhere we look and even where we can’t see with our fanciest equipment, from galaxy clusters all the way down to sub-atomic particles.
When I am faced with these dazzling works, I am so impressed with Him and filled with gratitude. His creativity is evidence of His existence – why is there so much beauty when the entire earth could be just gray mud and lukewarm water? He even tests mankind’s limits putting His creativity in the Mariana Trench, in the stretches of the blistering Sahara, and under the ice in Antarctica. He is boundless power, astonishing imagination, and extraordinary humor.
But it’s not just out there. He intricately and wonderfully knitted me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-15). I get to breathe today – in Him I live and move and have my being, and He is not very far from any of us (Acts 17:27-28). I am a unique masterpiece in His marvelous creation (Ephesians 2:10, NLT).
What a great sorrow to Him if I am just “thankful for” and not “thankful to,” as though I could chalk all of this up to chance, or luck, or random mutation, or a cosmic hiccup. No! I must give the credit, the applause, the fame, and my sincerest thanks to this Creator. It is all His work.
Creative in Brokenness
But…but…but, what about when things are not beautiful? What about when Adam disobeyed and drew down heaven’s wrath into an enduring and horrendous curse on the entire earth? What about fallen, broken, selfish and sin-twisted humanity? What about when well-created things don’t work well anymore? What about earthquakes, weather extremes, hunger, ignorance, illness, disease, and death?
Our Saviour knows all about that brokenness. One day in Galilee He had been followed by at least 5000 people who were now hungry and far from home. He asked his disciples to see what food they could collect to meet the need. They came up with five barley loaves and two small fish. Their solution was broken, insufficient.
But notice. Jesus didn’t complain about the lack, nor did He just immediately “poof” things into existence. The Lord Jesus accepted what there was and then amazingly gave thanks (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:31-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:1-14).
The miracle followed His offering up thanksgiving. We might take note of the order – I will thank God for the way things are, for the small good things in my difficult situation, and leave it up to Him to change the way things are! The prayer of thanks came before the physical provision was displayed.
Jesus did this same thing the night before He died on the cross for our sins. And He took bread, the symbol of His body, and gave thanks (Luke 22:19). He thanked the Father for the small bread knowing that God would soon break a much more significant “bread of life” for the sins of mankind.
You & Me & the Gospel
Our God’s finest creativity, beauty, and provision for our needs comes through this thing called “the gospel.” It changes everything.
Zoom up 30,000 feet and get a big look at earth’s story – full of creativity and goodness, then full of sin and suffering, and then full of hope because God’s restorative creativity that’s just around the corner.
Jesus is the One God sent to enable this coming restoration – this is why He is called the Savior.
The restoration begins with me and you. Jesus came to earth, lived a perfect life, and then died in our place, serving the judgment for our sins, so that we could be forgiven and reconciled to God (2 Corinthians 5:18-21). But Jesus didn’t just “open heaven’s door” for us to earn our way to heaven; His death paid for every one of our sins from the cradle to the grave which, when we truly believe, are cancelled all at once!
Beauty Created From Brokenness
It gets better. When we believe, we are “born again;” we become one of God’s recreation projects for the rest of our lives, changing from the inside out into someone more like Jesus. And when we die, our bodies will be changed into truly amazing and immortal bodies. And one day, not too far from now, the earth’s brokenness will be changed to shalom (wholeness).
Miracles begin with our thankfulness for the Bread. Our personal restoration into what God wants begins by our thanking Him. Thank Him … for Jesus suffering in our place … for the free gift of forgiveness … for the chance to be reconciled with the Creator … for His giving us a new heart … for the health and strength to live your life as a thank you to Him.
HOMEWORK: Actively search out God’s creative beauty outside. Next, think of God’s provision for your needs. Express it. The answer God gives to your cry for help may hinge on you first expressing thanks to Him for things as they are.
“God must’ve had a blast. Painting the stripes on the zebra, hanging the stars in the sky, putting the gold in the sunset. What creativity! Stretching the neck of the giraffe, putting the flutter in the mockingbird’s wings, planting the giggle in the hyena. And then, as a finale to a brilliant performance, He made a human who had the unique honor to bear the stamp, ‘In His Image.’”