Before the World was Brand New
“In the Beginning….”
It reads like the stuff of fairy tales. Can you hear it? Sit quietly and listen.
Imagine the voice of God telling Adam and Eve the story. Sitting by a campfire in the cool of the evening, embers glowing, the animals Adam had named looking on, settling down for the night. The lion and the lamb curled up together.
It is God’s voice, quiet and steady, telling Adam and Eve their favorite bedtime story: how it all began.
We humans want to hear our own story. The moment our hearts started beating and our lungs expanded with air. We want to hear about our first words, and our first steps. We tend to think the world was created to revolve around us.
But no: here in these first sentences in Genesis, God doesn’t start with the creation of humans. God starts with light.
And then He spends a couple of days moving things around – the light, the darkness, and an expanse He names ‘Heaven’. In my bible it’s capitalized, just like a real place. Huh, I never noticed that before.
He takes two full days and He hasn’t even gotten onto solid ground yet! Oh, there it is; on day three comes land. Planet earth.
Finally! And again, He has to move things around. He gathers all the land together, to separate it from all the water. Except there is water up above heaven, so this is just the water that is below heaven. Wait, what?
Yep, apparently God used an enormous amount of water when creating our Universe and our world. And I pause to think about this interesting fact. Water is still one of the most important elements we humans need for survival. We drink it. We cook our food in it. We wash with it. We travel by way of it in our little boats.
Water. We turn on the faucet here in America. We gather it from the river in Africa. We drill down deep for it in the desert. We catch it as rainwater in the forests. Water. It is hugely important every single day for every single person that God created. I am just betting that God may use it as a theme when He talks to us. We will just have to wait and see…
Water. Make a note. Say a prayer of thanksgiving today every time you turn on the faucet and it comes pouring out.
Where were we? ‘Earth’ and ‘Seas’ are divided up and we are still just on Day Three. But God is not finished with this day. Suddenly he tosses seeds into the rich brown earth and vegetation sprouts forth. There is an explosion of green as small plants and fruit trees appear, with their own life producing seeds.
Interesting, that touch; that He chose to allow living things to produce more of their own. The Creator allowed his creation to create. And it filled the earth.
Here in Atlanta, we have the Botanical Gardens. I love to spend the early morning when it is still cool out wandering through the paths there, looking at all the little white flowers delicately waving in the wind.
I look across the lawn to see a thousand different shades of green shimmering in the sunlight. In planters, mounds of succulents look like miniature green roses clustering together in sandy soil. Trees stretch up toward the heavens, their leaves joining together to provide a canopy over my head. God’s endless creativity is on display.
And we pause here. God’s day is finished. The sun begins to go down. He is halfway through His creation marathon, with light and darkness, water and heaven and earth created. Spring has arrived as the plants burst forth. It is a vegetarian’s paradise. But it is nowhere near complete, as far as we are concerned! We are waiting for the good part – when He gets to creating us.
I am reminded to be patient. Creating good things takes time. One day at a time. So in the meantime, I need to appreciate where we are in the process of creating life. There is light.
And it is good. There is the expanse of Heaven, which we can’t get to, yet. But we are told it is good. There is water, the fountain of life for everything else. And there is dry land, solid ground, where plants will grow and trees will multiply. It is a good beginning. Let that thought sink in. It is a good beginning.
Question: Do I become too impatient with this process of life? Should I follow the example of God, trusting Him to create the perfect things in His own perfect time?