Sunday, September 4, 2011

Bringing Faith to Life

The book of genesis tells us that in the beginning the earth was empty. A formless mass; devoid of anything but God and His spirit. And then He spoke.

Day one, “light.”  

Day two, “sky.”

On day 3, “I command the water to separate,” and this reveals the land. Then God speaks seed bearing plants and trees into existence

On Day four, God sets the stars in the skies. Spoken into existence, they are to be a difference maker. Stars and varying kinds of light are to keep night and day separate. Their second purpose is to mark a change in the seasons. Before standard time, people would look to the skies and determine whether it was time to plant crops or to harvest; to grill steaks outdoors or use their oven for the night’s meal. To toss a ball back and forth with your good buds wearing shorts or to light a fire and snuggle with your sweetheart as the snow falls on a chilly winter’s day. Whatever the activity God set the stars in the sky to help us determine the day’s activities.

The next day God said, “The waters need some life in them. I didn’t create them to be desolate and stagnant, but to teem with living creatures. So I shall fill them with fish and other waterfowl. I’ll set some in a random lake and let them reproduce. That way, they will fill the earth and I can enjoy watching them as they populate this planet.” After filling a lake with fish and watching them for a bit, God smiled. His fun continued as he filled the land with livestock and the sky with birds. Thinking about the next days work, day passed into night and soon day 6 began.

On Day 6, God’s creativity culminates with his greatest creation: mankind.

 Genesis 2 provides some detail on exactly how God did it. Genesis 2:7 paints a picture of God in a sandbox saying he took some dust and formed it into a shape of a man. But it didn’t end there. When God was finished shaping his sand-man, he was lifeless until God breathed life into this sand-man. “Now that this man has been brought to life, he needs a purpose. What shall I have him do?” thought God, “I’ll put him in charge of everything I have created! That way he – and those that come after him – won’t wander around aimlessly.” God’s time of creating ended on day 7 with a time of rest.

What captures my attention in this story is the importance of God breathing life into mankind. Prior to that, the inaugural human being had been just like the earth on day zero. Devoid! Or, if I can use a different word here, lifeless or even dead! Genesis says that God’s greatest creation was otherwise dead and lifeless until God breathed life into it. I wonder if the same could be said of a person’s faith. It is dead, lifeless and devoid until God breathes life into it. At least that’s what I find myself learning these days.

There are things that I say I believe but when rubber meets road, living out what I believe becomes a real challenge. I trust God with my life. I am convinced that His plans for me are far better then mine. Yet His timing can frustrate me. Take for example this publishing contest. In May I discovered a free publishing contest for authors. Having written a book but not published it yet, I decided to take a chance and enter the contest.

As far as I know, the manuscript is still floating around their office climbing the ranks and etching its way ever closer to the finish line. But I find myself getting impatient and growing restless with not knowing what’s going on with my manuscript. Daily I fight the urge to pick up where I left off and continue towards self publishing. It’s so tempting and leads to frustration but I continue to wait. As my patience is being tried I find my confidence in God growing. The feeling of trust and confident assurance that comes when you trust a tangible person is welling up within me. As I think about unknown territory my fears and worries for the general future feel more secure. I’m becoming more optimistic. My pessimism is wading away. For this I am thankful.