In the Beginning

“They will flee like chaff scattered by the wind, like a tumbleweed whirling before a storm.” Isaiah 17:13

Scattered by the wind.
Do you ever feel that way? Do you ever feel like you are just whirling out of control in a direction—or maybe a dozen different directions—you didn’t choose? It seems like there are a lot of things that do that to us. Health issues. Job changes. Bad grades. Relationships. We start to feel worry, to feel stress, to feel pain, to feel fear, or maybe even to feel guilt.

I have felt scattered for a long time. Sometimes I get going so fast, and I get so caught up in my worrying and stressing that I forget to stay focused on the big picture of life.

So at the beginning of this New Year, I decided to go back to the beginning. I spent some time reading through both creation narratives a few times to prepare for this devotion, and I came away with a new conclusion I’d never seen before. When we combine the story of how God created the Earth (Genesis 1:1-31) with the story of how he created mankind (Genesis 2:1-25) a unique twist on life pops out.

First of all, after everything God created—light, water, vegetation, animals—God “saw that it was good.” Nothing was bad. Nothing was half-way finished or thrown together. Everything He created in the beginning He made it to His standard. He didn’t quit until it was good.

This is good news for us because “God created mankind; in his image he created them; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27.) Even mankind was created until it was good. After mankind was created, God blessed us, and showed us the creation. Everything was ready for us. There was light, water, food, and shelter.

And the last thing God created for us was love. In the second half of the creation story, God creates a woman for His man so that they may be joined together.

It’s a story you’ve probably heard a million times before. It’s a probably a story you talked about in a Sunday school class or maybe dissected a sophomore Biology lab. But beyond the nitty-gritty of which day God created the moon, and did the chicken come before the egg, this narrative gives us a glimpse of original creation—the pure, untouched, imagination of God.

In the beginning—before there were meetings, or cell phones, or paychecks, or Facebook, or commutes, or soccer games, or deadlines, or college applications—God set in motion a beautiful plan where out of nothing, he gave us everything we needed. God gave us light, water, food, shelter, and love. He didn’t give us worry, stress, pain, fear, or guilt. Those things weren’t part of the plan.

So thousands of years later, do we still have everything we need? Do we appreciate the gift of light and the warmth it brings, or is it lost in the worry of getting through tomorrow? Do we take the time to eat good food and nourish our bodies, or do we just take in calories and schedule diets for when we are less stressed? Do we cultivate love, or do we give into fear that people won’t like us?

The year 2014 offers a new beginning. It is a chance to stop being scattered, a chance to become a new creation, and a chance to be thankful that we have had all that we ever needed since the beginning.

God’s peace and blessings for a Happy and healthy New Year.

Zach Herzog

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