Sunday, July 1, 2012

Contemplating Creation

Last week, we set out on our annual Mississippi Nailbenders mission trip.  We traveled a little lighter this year allowing our older two to ride on the bus with the rest of the group while we tucked the three little ones into the backseat of my dad's car and set out on a road trip.  And this indeed was a road trip.  It was by far the longest drive I have ever made.  Stephen, the "little kids," and I drove the first day to Stephen's mom's house in north Mississippi and then 12 hours the next day to destination Strasburg, Virginia.

I have traveled in the mountains before.  I have thought that the mountains were very pretty.  I have appreciated that God created the mountains.  But the enormity of it all struck me this trip.

Early on Saturday, we drove through Huntsville, Alabama, and saw the rockets at the space center.  Stephen commented about how amazing it is that man created something that could shoot into space, have half of it burn away, and another half that would later come back to earth.  I agreed -- there were some people a lot smarter than me that put all that together.

We spent the whole day traveling through the mountains of north Alabama, Chattanooga, Gatlinburg, and into Virginia.  At some point -- probably with our fiftieth comment or so on how beautiful each mountain was, I had a new awakening.

                                          (between Strasburg, Virginia and Washington D.C.)

I have known the story of creation from Genesis forever.  Certainly those stories were told to me as early as preschool days.  And I've always thought, "Wow, that's neat.  God created everything in six days."  But think about what he really did.

As we drove over one particular hill, the sun shone on the tops of several other mountains, the clouds rested serenely on the tops, and the trees bathed the side in green.  And I had an "ah-ha" moment.  Stephen had commented on the rockets and how amazing it was that man had come up with that technology.  And it is amazing.  But how long did that take? At least several thousands of years after creation.  But how long did it take God to create space and earth and everything within it? Six little days.

Six little days in which He spoke and things happened.  "Let there be light" and this complex ball of burning gases took form in the sky to create the sun that gives us light and warmth.  "Let there be water," and this complex system of freshwater and salt water combined and separated worldwide.   "Let there be land," and in a moment a complex division of deserts and mountains and flat plains just appeared.  "Let there be man." and a complex system of organs and blood circulation and communication to the whole body by one little brain just happened.  It just happened because He spoke with His mighty voice and it was done.

The brilliant pinks and purples and oranges of a sunset, the gentle rolling of waves upon a beach, the endless stretch of dunes in the desert sand, the simplicity of a rainbow, the brilliant hues of autumn leaves, the tiny features on a newborn's face.  It all was created by a spoken word.

We serve such a mighty God.  I think about all the struggles and discomforts that I face and all the mole hills that I can turn into mountains, and I wonder, why don't I just turn all of that over to God.  If He can create our whole existence with the beauty and complexities that He did, can He not handle all of the messes and ridiculousness that we create in our lives? 

I walk away from this trip realzing that not only is His creation awesome and inspiring, it is a reminder that He is in control of everything.