Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Joy in Naming the Animals

I apologize for the last few posts. My head and my heart have been all over the place and I have been struggling to write.

God has been working some things out for me and in me and I have been unable to put it into words.

The other night a young friend was over so hubby and I could get out and go on a date. When we got home, it was late but I had a wonderful opportunity to chat with J. She has been at university and is home for the summer living with her parents and trying to find work.

Somehow our conversation got onto the topic of being happy where God has us now.  J is trying to decide if she wants to follow her plans to become a doctor  but she is unsure because she hopes to have a family one day and values the necessity for children to be parented by their parents and not a stranger that is getting paid.

We talked about listening to God in the little choices as well as the big. We make thousands of choices every day and we need to choose if we are going to ask God for guidance in those decisions and if we are going to follow his leading or go our own way.   It's so much easier to ask God when it is a big decision, harder to trust him and not second guess maybe, but easier to remember to ask.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11

As we sat there and talked about trusting God, making decisions, and being happy where we are at, God was not just speaking to J, he was using what felt like my verbal diarrhea to speak to me too.  I

remember so clearly the things that were said by her and myself, but most of what came out of my mouth felt like it was not from me.

One of the things that really resonated with me was that I am able to look back on my life up until this point and see Gods hand.  I can see him in all of the little choices and big ones. The things I felt were a mistake or a misfortune. Looking back on my life I can see how God has used things for his good.

When we get to where we are going, when we make it to heaven and see his face. When we have to look back and account for all that we have done, are we going to see missed opportunities and a life that was lived following selfish desires. Or will we be able to see the work of the Holy Spirit in us and the amazing things that He did through us.  

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand 
slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.
Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.
2 Peter 3:8-13   

So then, looking at our lives in that way, everything that seems so important, in the grand scheme of things, means very little. The day that seems like is hellish and painful, is only a day and you will forget it so quickly in light of eternity with the Father and the overwhelming joy that comes in His presence.

And the Lord God said, “It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.”  Out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. And whatever Adam called each living creature, that was its name.  So Adam gave names to all cattle, to the birds of the air, and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper comparable to him.
And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.
 And Adam said:
“This is now bone of my bones
And flesh of my flesh;
She shall be called Woman,
Because she was taken out of Man.”
Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.

Genesis 2:18-25

I love this story.  I have a friend that used to say that she hadn't found the right guy yet because she wasn't done naming all the animals.  She really connected with the fact that Adam had to work and wait until there was a partner that was made perfectly for him.  

I see these verses in a different light.  It really reminds me about how we can skim or skip over things that are wonderful. 
Think about Adams experience in the garden with the Lord.   He was in the presence of God  for that time. ( I am elaborating here but just go with me) He sat and watched as the Lord created the creatures, then they were brought to him to name them. He was with God.   Who cares if it was a day or ten thousand years, he was with God and that would not have been a burden for him.  It was a blessing to name those animals. 

Yes, God was trying to find a helper for Adam, but the whole process of it is important.  It is not just about Adam doing all the work so he can be rewarded with Eve, its about all of that time in between too. I am sure that if we were to ask Adam he would have been just as excited (if not more) about the time he spent alone with God naming those animals, as he was with the end result. 

We need to be careful not to fly through the pain, turmoil, and work that we are putting in now. It is not just about the end result. If we are always focused on getting through so that we can get to our reward we will miss out on a lot of opportunities that God has for us and to show His glory through us. 

The best use of our time now, no matter what stage we are at, is to follow God and shine his love, in whatever and through whatever we are going through.  If we follow God and ask for his guidance, we will see his hand when we look back on our lives, and that is a great blessing. 

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