While in Hawaii, we went to a Botanical Garden just outside of Kaneohe, Oahu, and then to a Buddhist Temple just down the road. The gardens were so pretty and lush, especially since it had just rained. We really enjoyed walking and driving around looking at the towering mountains and the tiny flowers. It was so relaxing to really be in God’s creation. The temple was pretty, too. A red and gold structure made to look like one in Asia.
After we got home, though, I felt sad and then almost dirty after visiting the temple. Inside was a huge Buddha carving, and there were a couple of people in the temple meditating. I remembered in the Bible where it says that those who worship idols are worshiping demons (Psalms 106: 36-38), and I could almost see in my mind’s eye a demon peering out from behind the carving with a hideous smile on its face. I was sad that those people felt the need to worship and meditate there, when just a few short miles away was an equally tranquil place where they could meet with the true God.
As they sat in that beautiful valley, surrounded by God’s creation in amazing variety, I wondered, how could they miss Him? Then, how do we miss Him? Sitting in our houses and families, surrounded by all His blessings, how do we miss His presence in our lives?
In John, Jesus says without God He can do nothing (John 5: 19, 30). What arrogance then for us to think we have accomplished anything without Him. Like those in the temple valley, we need to wake up, look around us, and see all He has done. Without Him we can’t accomplish even the seemingly simple tasks of life: waking up in the morning, balancing our budget, saving money for the future, caring for our children, succeeding in our careers…If Jesus himself could do nothing without God, who are we to think we could do something on our own?