Nature is one of the greatest teachers. This prompted David to say, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge” (Ps. 19:1-2). And again, “When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?” (Ps. 8:3-4). God has left his imprint upon his handiwork. Its wondrous design brings many lessons.
Nature illustrates an important principle concerning our relationships, namely, that things that spring outward are preferable to things that circle, or focus, inward.
Take, for instance, the whirlwind: ever blowing inward, circling and spiraling towards only itself. It is one of the most destructive elements in nature, responsible for millions of dollars of damage every year. Its force is so terrible that the prophet Hosea used it to illustrate condemnation, saying, “For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind” (8:7). The whirlpool is the same way, pulling everything in its path downward to death and destruction.
On the other hand, consider those things in nature that spring outward – the heart, pumping life-giving blood throughout the body, the rain that falls from the clouds, the spring that sprouts fresh water – all these are symbols of life. Their nature is to give instead of take, and they bring growth and life to things that surround them.
What figure in nature best characterizes you? Are you constantly focused inward, filled with selfish concerns and uncharitable desires? Or are you reaching out to others, giving cheerfully as one who has received much from the Father gives every good and perfect gift? (Jas. 1:17).
Jesus described himself in terms of a life-giving river, flowing outward (John 7:37-38). We are to follow in his footsteps (1 Pet. 2:21). Are you reaching out?