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Unshelled Nuts     From My Utmost for His Highest

 By your patience possess your souls —Luke 21

I'd love some feedback in the area below about this, but I've been told that you're enjoying getting little bite sized pieces of the Rooster a couple times a week. Well, I figured I'd take a departure from that a bit and give you something that didn't quite make the final text but may make us less "ignorant of the way God has made us."

Looking around in nature, we see that God created the heavens and the earth with such precision and perfection, that it still functions today, magnifying His glory. I liken His creation to a couple, who toil for years, together, to painstakingly build a home, brick by brick, out of love. The Biblical account of Creation is unique among all other creation accounts in that it begins with . . .

. . .labor, and as we’ve seen, that labor is developed out of love. Can you feel it here [in Genesis 1:26-31], in this first account of creation provided in the bible?

 And a little later, we’re given another view of this same account [in Genesis 2:7-8].

 So having reviewed the knowable parts of the Trinity, I have two main points about the Creation of man. 

First, look at the care and time put toward the birth of man, here. God thinks enough to make man in his own image. Of all the animals and things that He made, some of them He must have loved, God chose His own perfection to model man. He saved that for last, and built it into man, and He gave the animals over to man without reservation. Man could never have done that—I would have had to reserve one or two animals, but God trusted us with all of them. And He gave man the breath of life, breathed into man’s nostrils like no other creature. There is closeness and an un-comfortableness of space that I think we can understand, and we don’t even live in a feudal society. The thought of a king leaning in so closely that His breath fills your nostrils is a frightening level of intimacy from an even more terrifyingly powerful being. 

Second, it is critically important that we understand the reason that we’re here, that we have this life. When I was just beginning my faith walk, I had an opportunity to study Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest with a small group. One day I was on the phone with our oldest member of the group, Barbara Crespino, who also was battling cancer. I arrogantly asked her why she thought Jesus kept her here. I cringe now thinking of asking the question. It wasn’t quite that bad because there was some context for it, in our mutual thirst for heaven and the deterioration of our bodies, but it was still dumb. See, I was full of ambition to take another hill. I was asking God daily for my orders so that I could put meaning to my life and push forward. I was expecting her to say something like, “Well, I’ve got to reach this person, “ or “I don’t know, but I’ve got one more thing to do here.” But that wasn’t even close to her answer. 

 Before I tell you her answer, let me tell you my response. I was stunned. Could that be her mission? Was it a reason to keep an old lady in pain, hanging on with cancer, having beaten it once, but back again? 

She, without a beat, dying, and responding to my question of why God would keep her here, calmly said, “Why, to worship and honor Him.” [This is discussed in greater detail in Chapter 1-In the Beginning God of A Rooster Once Crowed], but to really understand this, we have to see that this incredible, triune God, created us OUT OF love. The house was built with care, and the only thing that could increase Their love would be to give Their love away. So God breathed life into us. Us. For no other reason than to share His great and perfect love. 

There’s no way I can convey this, but consider a shadow of this promise and love recorded here in Cecil Day-Lewis’ poem, Newborn, written at the birth of his son, Daniel:

Now like a blank sheet
His lineaments appear;
But there's invisible writing here
Which the day's heat
Will show; legends older than language, glum
Histories of the tribe,
Directives from his near and dear--
Charms, curses, rules of thumb --
He will transcribe
In his own blood, to write upon an heir.

This morsel of man I've held--
What potency it has,
Though strengthless still and naked as
A nut unshelled!
Every newborn seems a reviving seed
Or metaphor of the divine.
Charged with the huge, weak power of grass
To split rock. How we need
Any least sign
That our stone age can break, our winter pass!

Welcome to earth, my child!
Joybells of blossom swing,
Lambs and lovers have their fling,
The streets run wild
With April airs and rumours of the sun.
We time-worn folk renew
Ourselves at your enchanted spring,
As though mankind's begun
Again in you.
This is your birthday and our thanksgiving.

In the end, God created the heavens and the earth in community with His Holy Spirit and His Son, Jesus Christ. And after that, They created man because having built a house with perfect love, giving it all away was the only way to increase Their love more. In that Spirit, God created you. God created me. 

If you want to know where you lost something, go to the beginning, and in the beginning, God was.

I love you. 


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