By Bill Webb, Word&Way Editor
God had a plan for Earth and those who inhabit our planet. And so He went about the work of creating. He created and created and created, then He rested and admired what He had brought into being.
God wasn’t content just to have created things like dramatic scenery, plant life, animals and people. As far as we know, He has never had a big galactic shelf to store all the unique stuff that He created. Virtually everything God created was interactive.
Our planet has seasons, and it was in God’s mind that in Missouri, we would have access to all four of them in all their glory. (Who says God doesn’t play favorities!) On the various continents, God scattered unique plants and animals and, of course, unique people, all of them with the ability to reproduce others like themselves.
What God did was spectacular. He set everything in ecological balance and landscaped the world. He is the ultimate master gardener and wrote the book on animal husbandry. And then God outdid Himself. He created humankind in His own image. God had in mind companionship with the ones created in His own image.
The Bible is clear that God passed along his tips on master gardening and animal husbandry to the first of His human creation. God pointed out to the newcomers that they were to have certain responsibilities and would need to live in obedience to fully enjoy life. Even as He shared the good stuff, God pointed out the pitfalls.
People weren’t good listeners in the beginning, and today we still have trouble paying as much attention to God as we should.
But God’s attitude from the very beginning has been to place such a high value on life that He was willing to suffer the abuse of disobedience in order to get personally and intimately involved.God values life.
Over the past weekend, family members who are among the most dear to me gathered for a belated birthday celebration for my mom. She was there, of course, as were my wife, our two sons, our daughter-in-law, my brother and sister-in-law and our two grandsons.
Mother has struggled with health issues. For several years, she has suffered from Parkinson’s. Pain is a constant companion. She moves slowly and deliberately these days. But she is special to her family. Most of us who gathered wouldn’t be alive were it not for her. I won’t soon forget the look in her eye as our 1-year-old grandson said goodbye with a big kiss on her cheek. My sons are no longer the little boys I sometimes wish they were. One of them lives far enough away that we don’t get to see him, his wife and our grandchildren nearly enough. Susan and I pray that they will continue to grow into the people God intends for them to be.
It is hard to imagine anyone abusing a child or ending a healthy pregnancy when I look into the eyes of Chase, 4, and Caleb, 1. They bring joy to all of us. When we are together, we rarely let these two out of our sight. God looks at us all that way, never letting any of us out of His sight.
God values life at all stages. And I believe He expects us to help others understand that. His method always has been to reach out and touch us with His love. (1-25-07)