You Need Beauty
Genesis 2:9a NIV
The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food.
Beauty is God’s idea. He defines it. He is the ultimate source of all that is lovely. In the verse above, which comes at the very beginning of the bible, we clearly see that God was not satisfied to merely make food to nourish mankind and the beasts, but ensured that the trees it grew on were aesthetically pleasing. In other words, function was intimately wedded to form. In a way that the animals could never know, we humans are meant to see this as an insight into the character of God and burst out in praise of Him. He is not merely about providing mere physical essentials, but about using beauty to enthrall the senses and point us to the source of all our blessings.
When we create, we reflect God in whose image we are made. He who created from nothing, gave us the ability to take what He has made and rearrange it. We do this while tending our gardens, cooking food, painting a picture, writing and playing music, working in the office and even in raising families, to name a few examples. Unfortunately, our efforts at living life too often feel like just soulless, pointless drudgery from day to day. We wonder where the beauty is to be found in our endless repetitions of routines. But like the twentieth century author G K Chesterton noted, God does not get tired of making the sun to rise every morning. Little children instictively understand this, fascinated as they are with endlessly experiencing the same thing over and over. They are full of life. In God is life, and He is making everything beautiful in its time as Ecclesiastes 3:11 tells us. When we are in Him, he brings beauty and meaning to all the repeating patterns in our lives.
Let us take time each day to look at and appreciate the beauty that God has placed in nature and then praise its maker. Notice the common blessings that it so easy to take for granted. This is one way that God refreshes us to face the challenges of life. Furthermore, we his children are promised all of eternity to bask in awe at the beauty of his holiness.