God has woven an illustrative world. Have you ever looked at a seemingly still piece of earth for more than a moment, only to see it transform with every passing second into a superhighway of insect industry?
God's world is like that. Everywhere we look, if we look closely enough, we will see microscopic metaphors wriggling around like maggots in a seaman's biscuit- but the metaphors are much more attractive, and they taste better.
Children are well known for asking the question "why?" Why do trees grow so tall? Why is the sky blue? Why do animals die? Why does two plus two always equal four?
Too often as adults we confuse the question "why" with the question "how." When the child asks why seeds grow into plants, we respond with a scientific explanation of photosynthesis and germination. When they ask why grape juice becomes wine, we launch into a dissertation on fermentation. (Or maybe we look it up online with them because we have no clue...)
But while these scientific answers explain what happens, they do not explain why.
And the answer to the why is, ultimately, "because that's the way God made it."
And why did He make it that way? Because He wanted to, of course... but why did He want to? The Lord of heaven and earth is the greatest of all storytellers. It should be no surprise that the poetic little rabbit trails scattered throughout His saga are not just random and unconnected rants; He has spun a world full of foreshadows and illustrations and poetic representations of deeper realities.
We see this in Scripture. Jesus is the Door, He is the Bread, He is the Water, He is the Good Shepherd. Christians shouldn't live on milk. God is a Rock. My wife is a crown. The heavens have voices.
So then, let us not be content with knowing how. Let us look deeper and ask why. The more we do this, the more we will discover that in everything our eyes rest upon, we should see Jesus, not just in the how- though the how is indeed full of rich illustrations of God's creative genius and the glory of Christ in holding all together- but also in the why.
Maybe grape juice turns into wine because the intoxicating deliciousness of marriage grows better with every passing year.
Maybe the laws of physics bind us from walking through walls because the only way to come to The Father is through The Door. (John 10:9)
Maybe we cannot live without water because we cannot live without Jesus. (John 4:14)
Maybe gold is rare because a Godly wife is so hard to find. (Pr. 31)
Maybe hunger hurts because laziness should hurt too. (Pr. 16:26)
Maybe seeds grow into plants which produce a thousand-fold more seeds because sin is not stagnant and it will multiply where it is not uprooted. (Eph. 6)
Maybe muscles grow stronger with use because righteousness is not stagnant either, and the more we walk in obedience to Christ the easier it becomes. (Eph. 6)
Maybe trees take hundreds of years to reach their full potential because we will not see the full ramifications of our actions for generations to come.
Maybe leaven causes bread to rise because we will be influenced by those we associate with. (Matt. 16:6)
Maybe rocks are such a firm and immovable foundation because God is unwaveringly faithful. (Ps. 18:2)
Maybe caterpillars go into cocoons because God is in the business of making butterflies.
Maybe babies need so much from their parents because adults need to remember that they need so much from their Father. (Matt. 7:9)
Maybe weddings are so joyful because they are a taste of the consummation of the ages.
When we look at a plant, then, we should see Jesus. When we look at a butterfly, we should see Jesus. When we look at a rock, or a glass of wine, or a wedding, or a baby, we should see Jesus.
The earth is already filled with the Glory of the Lord. (Is. 6:3)
The challenge is just seeing it. (Hab. 2:14)