A couple of thoughts have roamed through my mind today (within the chaos that usually scuttles about in there). Most of it centering around children. I often think that watching children is a reflection of watching Our Father in action. They love so easily. They forgive even faster. They create. They teach.
The granddaughter was playing with her habitats today. You see – she builds habitats for the creatures she wants to have (someday)…a small horse, a baby goat, a turtle (today’s focus) and a bat (not sure how she will do that one). Her mommy and daddy are pretty wonderful about helping her research whatever animal has caught her attention. Last weekend, it was a sea mollusk (and a lot of tears when we had to release him back into the ocean); this week a turtle. Then she starts to build them a habitat. She knows that her animals must have a place of their own to live, food to eat, and someone who will love them. Sound familiar?
Abba knew, that before He created humans, they would need a place of their own, Ever notice that the creation story doesn’t start with man? However, I don’t think that man was an afterthought…I may be a little biased here. I think God just is a much better planer then most of us…He was building a habitat for His sons and daughters. A vast array of universes. An orbiting world with its own sun and moon. A world subdividing into large areas of land.and crystal waters. A Garden full of plants and trees yielding fruit of every kind. Tiny creatures, big creatures, river creatures, flying creatures. Infinite in design, color, voice, skeletons…on and on and on. Until finally, it was time for something that He created in His own image…man…woman.
A child building a habitat.
Secondly, an older former student worried on-line today about losing contact with Our Father. Amid the business of day-to-day life, the angst of teenage years, the push to always succeed, the pressure to deny or – at least – ignore, media constantly humming in the ears. Is it any wonder he worries? I do – every minute of every day. I read a devotional today about how the Jewish people came to be the people of God. First, there was Abraham. His faith led him through fire unharmed. Second, the people he taught stepped out in their faith to walk through water. Third, they traveled through a desert for 40 years learning to depend upon their Father God for food, shelter, and protection. A single person who made a choice; became the father of a nation as he taught others about God; leading generations to a belief so strong that they stepped into a river where their faith became a wind strong enough to dry the ground in front of them; and finally,…a looooonnnnnnggggg stroll through a desert that must have seemed unending and yet – so freeing – no limitations – no expectations – just trusting their Father to lead them, support them and love them.
Sound familiar? Don’t we all go through fiery times? Times when we see water totally over our heads? Dry, unending landscapes of nothingness, lack of visible supports, an empty feeling?
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” Ps 23:4
David wrote this Psalm during one of His runs from Saul in the forest of Hereth (Sam 22:5) Jewish tradition teach that Hereth was not really a “forest” but a desert. Hereth means barrenness, harsh place. In Hebrew, it has the same letters as Heruth. Heruth means freedom. Strange combination of meanings – or is it? Jewish sages teach that when words share the same letters, it is because God wants us to notice the tie between the two words. Whether it is a whole nation or just one person, when we walk through that barren spot – that dark forest – we are freed of our day-to-day limitations, worries, etc. We are free to experience fully relying on the love of Our Father instead.
I try to rely on Our Father every day. I don’t always have the faith I should. I don’t always trust Him totally like I should. Yet – when I watch the Grands at play or listen to a former students trying to walk a life of faith, it reminds me that we are building our own habitat. We have (or are) walking through fire. Testing our faith by stepping into the water. And hopefully, walking through Hereth where we are free to experience the true love and sustenance of a Father who loves us enough to build a habitat just for us.
I’m just glad He lets us have a little time in the garden between all that fire, water and desert. I need my rest time, Father, and You always seem to know just when I need a little garden time. =P