Our family is involved in Community Bible Study (CBS), which the kids and I have been a part of for over a decade now. It’s an amazing chance to study God’s Word in-depth while surrounded by a caring community. This year we are studying Genesis. I have to admit, I wasn’t too thrilled when I heard last spring that Genesis was chosen as the book to study this fall. We had already studied it in depth several years ago with CBS, not to mention that through teaching Sunday school, homeschooling, and my own personal Bible reading plans, I have read and re-read and re-read Genesis many, many times.
However…….I made a choice and began to pray for fresh eyes. I wanted to see new things, for God to reveal new hidden truths to me that I had missed in the previous studies of this book. And I believed He could.
This past week, we began reading from the very beginning of the Bible. I re-read the Creation story in Genesis 1, believing that the Creator of the Universe could and would divulge a little bit more of Himself to me in what I studied. And He did.
For those of you who haven’t read Genesis in awhile, or maybe the first chapter of Genesis is something brand new to you, let me give you a synopsis.
Genesis 1:2 tells us that the earth was empty, formless, with darkness over the surface. But God was there. In fact, He was hovering over the waters.
Day 1, God creates light (1:3).
Day 2, God creates the separation between the sky and the waters (1:9-10).
Day 3, God creates land and plants (1:9-13).
Day 4, God creates the sun, moon and starts (1:14-19).
Day 5, God creates the fish and birds (1:20-23).
Day 6, God creates land animals (1:24-25) and then goes on to create mankind in His image (1:26-30).
Day 7, God was satisfied, rested and blessed (1:31).
Having been a science major in college, and then a science teacher to both my children and in homeschool co-ops, I have always read this part of the Bible with a ‘scientific perspective’, looking for the connections between what modern science tells us and what God tells us. BUT, as I was re-reading this with an expectant heart to see something new, God showed me something amazing. He took away my scientific perspective and handed me a photo album, in a sense. Photo album? Yes, a photo album. Let me explain.
Often times, I will pull out old photos to show my children their history. We will look at pictures of when I was pregnant with them and we will discuss all of the worries and hopes and dreams their daddy and I had for them at the time. We will talk about their labor and delivery. (And my poor Ben hears this a lot, for he was born in an ambulance after being in a car accident while in labor on the way to the hospital! It’s quite an interesting tale, so it is told often). We will also browse through photos of how they looked when they were babies, how they behaved while growing up and what they were like in each stage of development, up to their current age. We will laugh at some of their funny antics as toddlers, review lessons learned from ER visits, and point out features they have that are similar to mommy or daddy, etc.
When God handed me MY photo album, through Genesis 1, I re-read it not as a science teacher, but as a child of God looking back at my spiritual development. I read it as a beautiful allegory of MY creation. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: the old has gone and the new is here.” God showed me that before I accepted Jesus as my Savior, my heart was empty, dark, formless, just like the earth in Genesis 1:2. But God was there, hovering, waiting to shed light into my darkness. My children’s photo albums do not begin with their day of birth, but with the anticipation of their arrival, the months of pregnancy leading up to their special day. God was there, hovering, waiting.
And then in an instant, God created. He said, “Let there be light.” And the Bible tells us that when we accept Jesus into our hearts, we are born again and become children of God. But God doesn’t stop there. Just like in creation, God does more. In my own heart, after His light was shed into my darkness, He began to separate things in my life. He then started planting seeds to grow for the future, to provide me comfort and sustenance. He then helped me to begin to reflect His light to others, the way the moon reflects the light of the sun. Similarly, when God created all of the animals on Days 5 and 6 of creation, God then started filling my world with life, with beautiful life. And if that wasn’t enough, He gave me part of Himself, the Holy Spirit, just like He created mankind in his likeness. And then God was satisfied with his creation, just like when He rested and blessed on Day 7.
There were some new things I learned about God through this beautiful allegory - only God can create. Nothing else in the universe is capable of shedding light into darkness, but God himself. God, just like an expectant parent, wants the best for his children. He creates opportunities and situations for the children to thrive in and He loves them unconditionally. There are times when the children will choose wisely and sadly, times when they don’t. But, He never stops loving. Lastly, I was reminded that every human heart is at a different day of creation, a stage of development. Some haven’t seen the light yet, while others are just starting to reflect the Light, and still others are full of abundant life and growth. In the same way, I don’t expect the same behavior from my 9 year old as my more mature teenager, we shouldn’t expect those around us to be fully developed spiritually if they are only on day 1 of their spiritual journey.
This beautiful story of the Creation of the earth and the beginning of life is not just a literal science lesson. It is also a deeper metaphor of what God wants to do in each and every one of our hearts. My question for you is “What are you allowing God to create in your life today?”