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In the name Of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Infinite Variety

Do you not realize that God sends down from the sky water, whereby we produce fruits of various colors. Even the mountains have different colors; the peaks are white or red or some other color. And the ravens are black. Also, the people, the animals, and the livestock come in various colors. This is why the people who truly reverence God are those who are knowledgeable. God is Almighty, Forgiving. (35:27-8)

The people who truly reverence God are those who are knowledgeable. Reverence and knowledge go hand in hand. And I think tied closely to that is appreciation. We have to acknowledge that God created everything. Then, we have to remember to be appreciative of all He created. We can probably never be appreciative enough, but we have to try. After all, in order for us to survive physically in this world we just need some basics—air, water, food. And yet, God created such a variety of everything. Why?

In the creation of the heavens and the earth, the alternation of night and day, the ships that roam the ocean for the benefit of the people, the water that God sends down from the sky to revive dead land and to spread in it all kinds of creatures, the manipulation of the winds, and the clouds that are placed between the sky and the earth, there are sufficient proofs for people who understand. (2:164)

The heavens and the earth are full of proofs for the believers. Also in your creation and the creation of all the animals, there are proofs for people who are certain. (45:3-4)

The creatures, like all the forces of nature, are among God’s proofs. There is such an infinite variety of animals in this world. There are animals that lived on earth before man ever came down. Today there are creatures living in the depths of the ocean that we know little or nothing about. Every year 7-10 thousand new species of insects are discovered. Scientists estimate that there are perhaps 10 million insect species still undiscovered.

But what we do have knowledge of is staggering. There are more than 4500 species of mammals. There are about 9,700 species of birds. There are more than a million species of insects that we know about. This is amazing. And they all interact with one another in such intricate and perfect ways. “Proofs for the believers.”

If we simply looked at animals of the desert we would be amazed at their variety. There are bright and colorful birds such as the hooded oriole with a vivid yellow body and a sharp black mask on its face. There are dull colored birds, such as the curved bill thrasher who blend into their surroundings. And all kinds of birds in between—the roadrunner who races along the desert floor, using its long tail as a rudder for maneuvering, only flying when absolutely necessary, and the Gambels quail, who stay together as a family unit all summer long, crossing the road with mama in front, all the little chicks scurrying behind, and papa bringing up the rear. And birds that soar in the summer sky. Not just one kind of soaring bird but five or six different species of hawks, two kinds of vultures, eagles and at least four different species of owl. They are beautiful to watch as they catch a thermal and soar with almost no movement of their wings. What beauty! What variety!

And that’s just the birds. Rodents of all sizes and shapes burrow in the ground and build elaborate nests of twigs among the cactus. Mammals, such as coyotes and mountain lions, deer and javelina wander the desert, following the design of their Lord. Lizards, ranging in size from the tiny gecko to the large and venomous Gila Monster, and snakes—huge and dangerous like the diamondback rattlesnake and small and delicate like the banded sand snake, all move along the desert floor, soaking in the warmth of the sun. And strange and wondrous insects and spiders, like the tarantula, the black widow spider, several varieties of scorpions, centipedes and millipedes. The ground is alive with these creatures, but you have to really look for them. And God fully controls each and every one of them. Among His proofs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the creatures He spreads in them. He is able to summon them when He wills. (42:29)

Infinite variety doesn’t just apply to animals. How many species of plants are there in the world? Just in the desert, the variety is amazing—special plants adapted to live with limited water and great heat. It’s not one kind of cactus; it’s dozens. And in a lush rain forest, plants are so abundant and varied they live on top of each other. You cannot imagine the number of shades of green till you’ve looked at a hillside covered with trees. And then, by God’s wonderful grace, many of those greens change to yellow and orange and vivid red.

He is the One who sends down from the sky water, whereby we produce all kinds of plants. We produce from the green material multitudes of complex grains, palm trees with hanging clusters, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranate; fruits that are similar, yet dissimilar. Note their fruits as they grow and ripen. These are signs for people who believe. (6:99)

How many kinds of fruit are there in the world? I wonder if anyone has tried them all. Such variety in appearance, texture and taste.

What about the sky? We know it is a perfect structure that protects and provides for us. Have they not looked at the sky above them and how we constructed it and adorned it, without a flaw? (50:6) And the clouds in the sky—why are there so many varieties of cloud—powerful storm clouds and gentle drifting lines and shapes? They are part of the “adornment” of the sky, providing beauty and enjoyment as you watch them drifting by. And, of course, they bring the blessing of rain. GOD is the One who sends the winds, to stir up clouds, to be spread throughout the sky in accordance with His will. He then piles the clouds up, then you see the rain coming down therefrom. When it falls on whomever He chooses from among His servants, they rejoice. (30:48)

There is certainly infinite variety in people. Why? We could all be one color, one size, one shape. We could all look exactly the same. Sometimes it seems as if science would like to create that sameness. But God made each of us unique.

O people, we created you from the same male and female, and rendered you distinct peoples and tribes, that you may recognize one another. The best among you in the sight of GOD is the most righteous. GOD is Omniscient, Cognizant. (49:13)

Among His proofs are the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors. In these, there are signs for the knowledgeable. (30:22)

As humans, we tend to go through our day as if blindfolded. Unless we really concentrate, we’re too busy to notice anything around us. But when we take the time, all of our senses are assaulted with the wonder and variety of God’s creations. Watch the sunrises and the sunsets, the brilliant colors moving and changing across the sky—deep bright reds, pastel pinks and vivid yellow. Listen to the birds and the amazing variety of their sounds—from the soft cooing of doves to the varied tunes of a mockingbird, the raucous harmony of a tree filled with song birds, as they glorify God in their own way. Smell the land after a rain, enjoy the perfume of blossoms filling the air. Feel the textures of the bark of a tree and the petals of a flower, or the soft fur of a puppy or kitten. Taste the fresh white snowflakes or a just-picked strawberry.

Remember that God didn’t have to create such a wondrous variety of gifts for our senses. We could all survive with water, one kind of food and air to breathe. But how dull our lives would be. We need to recognize and appreciate that God made all of this for our enjoyment and our service. It’s important to take every opportunity to thank Him for these blessings of infinite variety.

Do you not see that God has committed in your service everything in the heavens and the earth, and has showered you with His blessings, obvious and hidden. (31:20)

If you count God’s blessings, you cannot possibly encompass them. (16:18)

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