If created things are seen and handled as gifts of God and as mirrors of His glory, they need not be occasions of idolatry – if our delight in them is always also a delight in their Maker.
— Dr. John Piper
From my days in Kindergarten, I was taught that no snowflake looked alike. That reality changed my perspective, even as a child. It made me think about the complexity of the simplest created things. My child-like mind was in awe of the shapes and formations of the snowflakes as our teacher would show pictures of them in the class. I won’t forget first learning it, and how receptive I was to understanding that such beauty couldn’t have been an accident.
Several grades would pass, and I would learn about something called atoms. All elements are made up from these basic particles. However, don’t let the fact that something is very small make you think that there is nothing to it. Any true scientist can tell you about the complexity of an atom. Every element is different based on how many protons are contained in that particle, and the energy surrounding the protons also influences the component. The slightest detail makes a great difference.
Once I got into high school, I was amazed by the science of genetics. I couldn’t believe how incredible DNA really was. It is its own language, with its own rules and accents. A single reprogramming, a single chromosome missing, or any single change could result in something completely different than what is expected. We have so many mutations among different species, and they all testify to the uniqueness of every individual. Every human is obviously made up of cells, atoms, and chromosomes, but DNA is extremely distinctive from person to person.
I began thinking on these things because of my experience this past week. In one week, I re-read The Illiad by Homer, God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything by Christopher Hitchens, and Christian Theistic Evidences by Cornelius Van Til. All these books cause a Christian to ponder on the truth that has been revealed, and to think on what God has done. All of the books challenged my intellect one step further, and begged me to ask serious questions concerning the existence of God, as well as His purpose.
After reading these books, I began preparing a message I had to preach on Sunday morning. Surely enough, on Friday, down in the hills of Georgia, we got some snow. My eyes saw the beautiful landscapes, my ears heard the laughter of children playing in the snow, and my spirit was filled with joy in the company of my friends and family. While all this fun was taking place, I remembered all that I learned from grade school to high school. I remembered learning genetics and chemistry, but I also remembered when I was a very small child learning about snowflakes. I looked at the snow and thought about God’s majesty, and about how wonderful His design really was.
Think about the unique form of every individual snowflake. Simply google images of different snowflakes and try to tell me that it is not a glorious testimony to the mind of God. He wants us to behold His glory and beauty, and He does this even through the beauty of the winter landscape. Even in the midst of my worry for the roads and my sermon preparation, I couldn’t help but look out the window and glance at the awesome creation of God. God exists, God is good, and God is beautiful. He must be! His mind is set on great designs, and these designs make us wonder at the intelligence and craftsmanship of God.
I know that we don’t typically see snowflakes as being packed with glory, and few would say that the snow of the Christmas season testifies to the gospel of Jesus. On paper, snow is simply atmospheric water vapor that becomes frozen into ice crystals, and then it falls into white flakes due to the resistance from the air. Sounds… almost boring… doesn’t it? But how does it look? Not even close to boring. In fact, it’s majestic. The reason why it is majestic, graceful, and delightful is because all of creation proclaims the goodness of the Creator. The next time you see snow, think about the God who created the beauty that we see. Think about how majestic, graceful, and delightful He is. Most of all, remember the mind that He had to design such an elegant form of nature.
May His creation, no matter how simple or complex, always glorify the God who made it all.
Soli Deo Gloria.