Out of nothingness, God spoke. And there was light, day and night, luxurious colors of sunrise and sunset, delight in the sky. He said it was good. He continued speaking, filling the darkness and emptiness with constellations and planets and seas and land, plants and animals, all wonderful, all good, each singing its own harmony with his good song.
When all was ready, he crafted a man and breathed his life into him. God declared him good. Later, he created a partner for the man, said she was good as well, and charged them to reflect him, his love, his goodness and his generosity in caring for the world and everything in it.
In the cool of the evening, he walked and talked with them.
Can you imagine, hearing God’s voice every evening?
At the end of each day being told how good you are, how well you worked,
how much you are loved?
Sadly, they chose to listen to another voice, one that questioned,
“Does God really love me? If he cared he wouldn’t keep anything from me.”
They believed the lie.
They ate the fruit, the only thing God had forbidden,
in order to protect them from themselves.
When God came in the evening, they hid in shame.
Everything shifted from goodness, wholeness, rightness
to pain, futility, sickness, and empty hearts,
“Banished from their home, the shattered mirrors became strangers, isolated from one another and their God. The desperate search to regain goodness had begun. Their anguished, futile efforts at goodness would supplant the joyful benediction, “You are Good!” So, in desperation to hear it once again, they sought ways to bestow it upon themselves.”
Give Them Grace
The history of the earth, our family lineage, and our own lives are filled with broken mirrors, sometimes with bits and pieces of the reflection of goodness, more broken than reflective, of joy and celebration, but never the whole image.
We never hear the sweetness of “You are good” in the cool of the evening.
Yesterday I listened to John 12, after Jesus entered Jerusalem amid crowds and palm branches and great approval, when he told those around him that instead of rising up as a political liberator, he would die.
He was vulnerable about how hard it was to approach his own death, but, believing the truth, said,
“Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.” The listening crowd said, “Thunder!” Others said, “An angel spoke to him!”
Often, we think if we’d been right there, saw Jesus in person, watched him raise the dead and heal the sick, and heard his voice, then we would believe every word he said, follow him anywhere.
I was struck with the different perceptions of the people around him that day.
When God spoke, most of those who’d just rushed up to crown Jesus as king only heard thunder.
Some really close to him thought the voice was just an angel.
They missed God’s voice.
Even with Jesus right in front of them, they still believed
the lie that God does not speak to us.
That he doesn’t care.
That we have to get our needs met on our own, through our own efforts.
I believe God is still creating. Still speaking his love into being.
What do you hear?
If it’s the thunder of condemnation that you carry on your back, of pain, or the weight of what you have done, or what has been done to you, what you feel you have a right to, but it seems God has withheld
could you exchange the lie for the truth, that God really does love you?
That Jesus came to restore your goodness?
Even those trying hard to be a good “believer” could be missing God’s voice, thinking it’s just an angel, or an over-active imagination.
Believing lies of I’m-not-good-enough
hide the real me
Is it possible to lay it all down?
All the anger.
All he resentment.
All the regret.
All the anguish.
All the trying.
All the pretending.
All the hard work.
And simply believe his love?
Hear his voice?