A song made famous by Louis Armstrong comes to mind. You may recall “I see skies of blue and clouds of white, the bright blessed day, the dark sacred night, and I think to myself what a wonderful world.” He goes on to extol rainbows, friends, babies, then echo’s again, “What a wonderful world.”
The Psalmist often faced set-backs, but when he looked up towards God he declared, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky displays what his hands have made.” As we see nature unfold around us it’s appropriate that we echo, “What a wonderful world.” Genesis tells us that God created everything, and after each phase of creation, he said it was good. As His crowning act He created human beings. Genesis tells us, “Then God said, ‘Let us make humans in our image, in our likeness. Let them rule the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the domestic animals all over the earth, and all the animals that crawl on the earth.’ So God created humans in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female.” And following this He looked at what He created and said it was very good. God made humans with an eternal soul and the ability to choose right or wrong. He gave mankind great autonomy, for only that would allow us to choose to love Him. “What a wonderful world.”
I recently learned about how babies gain their sight. When first born, they have difficultly focusing their eyes, but this skill develops as weeks pass by. In the early months their focus is limited to around 8 inches to 18 inches away. As their brain develops, they are able to gain perspective and begin looking out further. They see color, but not like we do. They begin to see primary colors, and then as they mature other colors are recognized. Science has discovered that a baby can have eyes that see, but if they are covered during the first developmental months of life, needed synapses in their brains won’t develop, and their perfectly good eyes will be useless.
It gives new dimension to the miracle of Jesus healing a man who was born blind. The writer John recounts the story in the 9th chapter of his account of Jesus earthly life. We’re told that Jesus spit on the ground and mixed in dirt and applied it to his eyes. Some conjecture that Jesus was actually creating eyes he never had. He told the man to go to a pool and wash. The man made his way through crowds visiting the pool and washed and came away seeing. But with what we know about babies, Jesus not only fixed his eyes, but formed the synapses in his brain that had never developed! A double miracle! No wonder the Psalmist declared, “I will give thanks to you because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made. Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.” (Psalm139:14). The Psalmist and the formerly blind man would declare, “What a wonderful world!”
Did you know that rainbows are not the colorful arches we see in the sky, but are full circles? While rare sightings of whole rainbows have been observed, generally the horizon blocks half the circle, and we perceive an arch. The rainbow is the refraction of light in drops of water in the atmosphere. While we talk about a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, there is no end to the rainbow. And as we get closer the refraction changes so we would never reach the rainbow. After God destroyed mankind by flood, saving only Noah and his family, he made a promise that is reflected in the rainbow. “God also said to Noah and his sons, ‘I am going to make my promise to you, your descendants, and every living being that is with you—birds, domestic animals, and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ship—every living thing on earth. I am making my promise to you. Never again will all life be killed by floodwaters. Never again will there be a flood that destroys the earth.’
God said, ‘This is the sign of the promise I am giving to you and every living being that is with you for generations to come. I will put my rainbow in the clouds to be a sign of my promise to the earth. Whenever I form clouds over the earth, a rainbow will appear in the clouds. Then I will remember my promise to you and every living animal. Never again will water become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember my everlasting promise to every living animal on earth.’” Genesis 9:8 – 16 (GW) Rainbows may be elusive, but God’s promises aren’t. Perhaps we should all echo, “What a wonderful world!”