Our Creative God
Over the recent holiday period, I had the enormous privilege to accompany my wife as she led a mission/service trip from her school to Tanzania. The primary purpose of our visit was to spend time with students from The School of St Jude. My wife’s school has supported The School of St Jude for a number of years and the 14 students who accompanied us on the trip had been raising funds to support the school over the past 12 months.
I had never been to Tanzania before, and although my wife had shared the experiences from her last trip to Tanzania, I still wasn’t sure what to expect in a country that I knew was one of the poorest in the world.
However, despite the poverty that was obvious, there was also a happiness that pervaded us wherever we went. I had the opportunity to visit the home of one of the students. Getting there was an experience in itself as there had been a lot of rain the previous night and I was concerned that our van wouldn’t get through the deep ruts and water in the road. The home consisted of one room in a rented building and it was obvious their possessions were very meager. It was a privilege to be able to take a box of essential items and provisions to this family as a way of assisting their daily existence.
The thing that struck me as we spent time with this family and shared their hospitality, was how happy they seemed. They didn’t have much in the way of material possessions, but they exuded a happiness often absent in our western society. Their faith in God also shone through as something which was very important to them and it obviously played a central role in their lives and their positive outlook on life.
Despite the poverty, Tanzania is also rich in beauty. I was reminded of Psalm 104:24 which says: “How many are your works, Lord! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.” The opportunity to go on Safari was an experience I will always remember. To see the beauty of God’s creation in the National Parks and to be up close to animals in their natural habitat with no fences or cages to restrict their activities was a sight to behold.
Psalm 19:1 also came to mind as I watched the most magnificent sunrise over the Ngorongoro Crater: “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” Only God could create such amazing beauty.
We serve a creative God – Creator of the world – and we can be led closer to him through seeing the beautiful things he has made. Nature is one of God’s beautiful creations. Through nature, God is able to teach us, speak to us and provide for us.
But as rich as the experience of visiting Tanzania was for me, we don’t have to visit another country to experience God’s love and His creation. God’s beauty and His creation is all around us. Sometimes amid the busyness of our daily lives we just need to stop; to take in God’s creation around us; to give thanks for all He has provided for us; and to reach out to those less fortunate than us.
Abundant blessings to you all.