I love ah-ha moments. I expect them literally every time I read from the Word. You see, God is not like man when it comes to what He says. Or, I should say, not like me. He doesn’t waste His words. So every book, every chapter, every verse, every word of His Word has been spoken and then written for a purpose.
In the beginning God created…
Have you ever made anything? Every so often during my growing up years, my mother and I took a “ride uptown” where, at the fabric store, we’d sit on tall stools while flipping through enormous hardback catalogues of fashion patterns.
Some of them had covers that read “Simplicity” and others “Vogue.” Each was divided into sections, then subsections.
After my mother had carefully chosen the desired pattern number, she went in search of the actual pattern, one of thousands filed in large metal cabinets that had been carefully divided and labeled. I continued to sit on the stool where she’d planted me, studying the designs and drawings, thinking to the day when I, like my mother, would go in search of the pattern…the material…the buttons…the zipper…the thread.
Back home, Mother would fold out a cutting board across our kitchen table, drape the material across it, then pin the fragile paper of the pattern atop that. She would grip her black-handled scissors and begin the cutting process while I watched from a kitchen chair she’d positioned strategically to keep me out of her way but within viewing range
All day: the cutting, the whir of the Singer sewing machine, the whip-whip of thread being hand stitched into hems or applying buttons. Getting in and out of clothes until they fit just right. By day’s end she had a blouse or I had a frilly dress or my brother had a shirt. Mother was a genius with a pattern, some material, and a spool of thread.
But, even as gifted as she was (and is) in the art of sewing, I never once saw her make something out of nothing. Not once. Every dress had to have a pattern. Every blouse had to have material. Every shirt depended on thread to hold it together.
Unlike our Creator…
Getting to the Root of it
The word “created,” found in Genesis 1:1 is, in Hebrew, “Bara,” (transliterated) and is used only of divine design, never of human construction. Its meaning is:
1. to shape
2. to fashion
3. to create
Bara is used forty-six times in the Old Testament but only three times in the first chapter of the Bible. Those three times deal with:
1. to the origin of matter
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
2. the origin of life
So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
3. the origin of man’s soul
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
That which God created, He created free and clear of anything else from anyone else. Man was created from the dust of the ground, yes, but Who placed the dust and/or the ground there in the first place?
But Was God Done?
As I said, the word “created” in its divine sense, is used only three times in the first chapter of Genesis. Does that mean that after the “three,” God stopped creating?
God has continued in His work as Creator for all time. Some of His best work is seen in His outright miracle of life.
I remember the first time I witnessed a birth. I was a nursing student and a very young one at that. The obstetrician instructed me to stand behind his left shoulder keeping me—as my mother had years ago—out of the way but within viewing distance. As the mother-to-be pushed with all her might, I took a step backward. Deep breath—deep breath—and puuuuuuuuush again. I took yet another step back. Okay, one more. You can do it. You can do it. Puuuuuuuush. Another step back for me. A final push from the mother and I was plastered against the wall.
The doctor announced the sex of the child and turned to get my reaction. Seeing me standing there with my mouth gaped open and hands and back against the wall, he smiled. “God sure is big, isn’t He?” he asked.
He sure is. After that, I read everything I could get my hands on about the miracle of life. That two things so infinitesimal (a sperm and an egg) can fuse together, multiply upon itself, split and form and then, voila, a human being is created, just fascinated me! It still does.
God’s miracle of creation, I decided, continues every time a baby is conceived.
An Ah-ha Moment
Hebrews 1: 3 reads: By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
Indeed, God created something out of nothing. Then, He gave us a command that we create out of what He’d given us in order than creation would continue on.
Isaiah 45:18 reads: For this is what the Lord says—he who created the heavens, he is God; he who fashioned and made the earth, he founded it; he did not create it to be empty, but formed it to be inhabited.
And so while we may not be able to create something from nothing, every time we bring a new life into the world…or hold a newborn…or gaze upon a child…we have become part of the miracle of creation.
The miracle of life.
Award-winning national speaker Eva Marie Everson is a recent graduate of Andersonville Theological Seminary. Her work includes the just released Sex, Lies, and the Media (Cook) and The Potluck Club (Baker/Revell) She can be contacted for comments or for speaking engagement bookings at www.evamarieeverson.com