Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good…Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array…now the Lord God planted a garden in the east, in Eden…and a river watering the garden flowed from Eden…”
Genesis 1: 31; 2: 8 & 10 (NIV)
I need what I ask God to give my Granddaughters. After they fall asleep, when they stay with us, I always go in and lay my hand on their heads and, among many other requests, pray that God would give them and their parents the wisdom to make the decisions that God would make for their lives.
God’s decisions. God’s way. Not theirs, or ours. God’s world, not ours.
It’s an always-present tension in a never-ending learning process. Even today as the sun streams through the canopy of trees arrayed just outside my upstairs windows. Choosing to live in God’s world or ours, following God’s way or ours—choosing God’s plan or ours.
And yet, despite all the times we mess up and follow ours, He continues to reach down and out to us to show us anew His world, and His way, and His plan for our lives.
A few years ago, Lynda and attended an annual event at our elder Granddaughter’s school called the Spring Fling. As a part of the event, Hannah, our Granddaughter, sang with the rest of her class in the auditorium to start the festivities off. She would rather been drawing or painting or doing something creative with her time. Our precious elder Granddaughter Hannah is, among many other wonderful things, a gentle, sensitive creation—with an imagination and creativity through which she daily paints her world from the depths of the purest of little hearts.
As a part of the Spring Fling, there was also a gallery of students’ paintings and other forms of art arrayed on the walls circulating through the school building. One of Hannah’s paintings depicted the London Bridge (of London, England fame before it was moved) spanning majestically across the Thames River. And there, breaking through the surface of the river in front of one of the bridge’s support towers, swam a dolphin (porpoise) at play. In the river—in London, England—in Hannah’s World.
It’s a wonderful place to live—Hannah’s World. There are a myriad of other examples to support that assertion, not the least of which are the hugs, kisses, laughter and smiles always readily available for her Gran and Mimi.
“God saw all that He had made, and it was very good…”
Yet early one morning, a day after seeing the painting of Hannah’s World, I saw another world through the life of baby—with her three-month-old smile still breaking trustingly across her tiny face. Her Mom with whom she was living, and with little in the way of food, clothing or nurture, brought her to an outreach for Mothers which our Kiwanis Club sponsors each year. As my eyes followed them and hundreds of other little boys and girls who attended that morning with a parent, I couldn’t help but think that theirs might turn out to be a difficult world. A world that would not seem to be a part of God’s original plan for their lives, and certainly not depicted in the world which Hannah imagines, and in which her parents, grandparents and others nurture her and help her to dream, reach and become all God created her to be.
“God saw all that He made, and it was very good…”
So what happened with that three month old baby and others like her? What happened within the Garden of Eden and the river flowing through it nourishing all which and whom God had created? God’s way was replaced by our way—in the persons of Adam and Eve—and those like us who have followed. Doing it our own way—not God’s—and messing up the plans He had for our lives. And even today, we continue to do it, following our way, creating our world over and over again.
But here’s the Good News. The God who painted all of creation, keeps reaching down and reaching out, knocking on our doors and slipping little love notes under our doors, calling to us—to do it His way. Despite messing it up in the Garden of Eden, He led the Israelites across the Red Sea and through the desert to the Promised Land. Despite messing it up there, He sent prophet after prophet to point to His way. And He even sent His Son to hang in our place so that one day we might have a seat with Him in eternity.
In His world. His way. Now and throughout eternity.
And as the sun continues to stream through the trees today in the world He has created, with dolphins, perhaps, swimming under the towering shadows of the London Bridge, He still reaches out to us encouraging us to enjoy His world—His way. Not our world, and not our way.
“God saw all that He made, and it was very good…”
God’s world is depicted in a painting of lives touching lives, of lives lifting lives. That’s His way. Of doing all you can do, with all He has given you, to impact the world for Him and His children. It’s a world where we embrace all that He intended for us to be, and settle for no less, until our last breath. It’s a world of children of all ages reaching to become all that He created them to be, and along the way lifting someone else—our children, grandchildren and others, and perhaps like that little three month old baby and her Mom.
It’s in mornings like today that I think God’s world must be a lot like Hannah’s world—a wonderful place for us to live. A world of dolphins swimming in rivers, of children of all ages—you, me, Hannah and that little girl—dreaming and reaching for all they were meant to be.
It’s a daily decision. Our world and our way, or God’s.
Choose God’s world, God’s way, God’s plan—for the best and rest of our lives.
In His Name—Scott