Read His Words Before Ours!
We’d been on the road for six months, travelling around remote Australia while living in an RV. We explored beaches and mountains, waterfalls and desserts. On this day, we were travelling through a very remote part of Western Australia. The closest township was home to only a few hundred people, and it was several hundred kilometers away.
We were literally in the middle of nowhere.
A little blue sign with a lookout icon was on the side of the 4X4 track we were following, so we turned up the path, parked in the bay and walked to the platform at the top.
What I saw took my breath away.
I stood, mesmerized, tears spontaneously streaming down my face. I was overwhelmed by the beauty and grandeur of the mountain range circling around us. In every direction there were magnificent cliff faces in rich red and orange, towering above the vast plains of spinifex grass and wildflowers.
I searched for words to describe this place. Majestic. Glorious. Awesome. Every word was inadequate. I took my phone out and tried to capture the scene with my camera. Wide angle. Panoramic. No photograph came even close to capturing the vastness of the scene. In that moment, I had a powerful encounter with God the Creator.
I have spent most of my life disconnected from creation in a city where the horizon is the shape of man-made buildings and the power of the elements is shut out by climate control and insulation, shielding me from the discomfort of the seasons. I earned money from working in an office to buy food from a supermarket, packaged in boxes and plastic bags. In this environment it has been easy for me to disregard God as creator.
God spoke, and by the power of His breath alone, everything we see, from the tallest mountain to the tiniest beetle, came into being.
Ex Nihilo, out of nothing.
God didn’t take something that already existed and refashion it into our world. God is the source of life. He created the world “ex nihilo”, out of nothing, by the power of His Word alone.
Hebrews 11:3 describes it this way, “What is seen was made from things that are not visible.” The power of this Word, God’s Word, is impossible for us to fully understand.
We can stare at the sky and worship with the psalmist, “The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all the stars, by the breath of His mouth.” (Psalm 33:6) I see the beauty and grandeur of creation and capture a glimpse of the power of the One who created the world with His Word.
John 1:1, 3 tells us, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [. . .] All things were created through Him[.]“
The ‘Word’ in John 1 refers to Jesus.
The One who entered the creation He orchestrated,
the One who died to pay the penalty for our sin,
the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.
The Creator stepped into His creation to save us, His beloved creation.
This blows my mind. This God, the source of life, became like you and me in order to pay the price for our salvation. Wow. The Creator, the Word, died to have a relationship with you and me.
Understanding this evokes three emotions in me.
It makes me feel very small,
it makes me feel very loved,
and it gives me hope in my suffering.
When I consider God as the creator of our magnificent world, I feel insignificant and humbly powerless. Knowing how small I am gives me a new perspective on humility I can take into my marriage, and a renewed hunger for God’s wisdom in my parenting. The sufficiency of God becomes much more important as I seek to solve problems, love others, and serve my family. I know it’s not up to me. What a freeing realization!
I also feel deeply loved. In light of God’s power, knowing He came as a helpless baby, lived a perfect life and died a criminal’s death so He could have a relationship with me, makes me feel significantly special. God loves me, tiny insignificant me. Knowing this gives me confidence to take my place in the world. I am expertly designed. I am worthy of love.
Knowing the God of creation is almighty and all-wise puts our suffering into perspective. A beautiful example of this in Scripture is from the book of Job. God bragged of Job and his righteousness to Satan (Job 1:8), but God allowed Satan to take away his family, his wealth, and his health. As any of us would, Job cried out to God for justice in the midst of his pain and grief. Good people, he reasoned, don’t deserve bad things to happen to them.
Finally, in chapter 38, God answers Job’s arguments. His answer?
Job, look at creation.
Look at My power.
Look at My beauty.
Look at My abundance.
God didn’t diminish Job’s suffering; rather, He adjusted Job’s vision to magnify his view of God, putting Job’s struggle into perspective.
The challenges we face are not too big for the God who created everything out of nothing.
I pray you have the opportunity to encounter God, the Ex Nihilo Creator, today.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!