Monday, January 19, 2009


My family wanted a dog. I was the bad guy. However, my reluctance was not unfounded. We were terrible dog people. I mean, we loved dogs, but we just had a terrible track record of dog ownership. Our first dog was an adorable mutt that we chose from a barn litter of who-knows-what breed when we were expecting our second child. We just decided one day to go look at puppies. This little guy had giant paws – which should have been our first warning sign – and was the most playful one of the bunch – which should have been our second warning sign. We named him “Hondo” after Roy’s favorite basketball player of all time, and he was aptly named because he could jump higher than any fence Roy could build. We could have named him “Pavarotti” because he also had the loveliest singing voice, which he chose to use every night – in the middle of the night – that soon became the bane of our neighbors’ existence. Hondo found another family.

Five years later, we gave it a little more thought and decided a pound puppy was pretty cheap and a benevolent thing to do. This dog was a gift for our older daughter’s sixth birthday. “Molly” was an adorable, lovable border/schnauzer mix that potty trained easily and fit our family well. Three months after we adopted her, we were called to seminary and couldn’t find anywhere in Ashland, OH, that allowed pets on our shoestring budget. Amid weeping and gnashing of teeth, Molly, too, found another family.

Can you see why I was a little hesitant to get a dog in 1994, even when my family begged and pleaded for one? So I prayed (don’t ever do that unless you’re ready for God to take the other guys’ side). Roy was at least willing to stall the process and suggested that our daughters do some library research on what kind of dog would fit our family’s needs. Mr. Library Research made me look the books over, too. We decided on a sheltie – even though they shed like a snowman in Tahiti, they’re sharp as a tack (plus I knew we could never afford one). Four days later, my sister-in-law calls out of the blue and tells me that my mom mentioned we might be interested in a dog. She said her friends had a 3 yr. old sheltie they’d like to find a good home for. Ugh. Now, my wise husband wouldn’t allow us to rush right out and get the dog. He’d learned from our other mishaps that we must prepare for its arrival. We spent the better part of 2 weeks building a dog run for this animal – nicer play area than my children had at the time. Our girls helped paint the fence and spread pea gravel. And when “Princess” finally became a part of our family, all that preparation made the difference. (Roy in the 1994 picture above is in his favorite pose with his favorite 1980's purple sweat pants.) Our precious sheltie was with us for twelve wonderful years. Process, Patience, Preparation – these are words I don’t particularly like, but they’re words God has a special affinity toward – especially in His creative work….

Gen. 1:2 – “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

  • Why didn’t God create the earth formed and full? Why allow darkness? Why hover? Because from the very beginning, God chose PROCESS for Himself and for the heavens and the earth.

Gen. 1:3-5 – “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light ‘day,’ and the darkness he called ‘night.’ And there was evening, and there was morning--the first day.”

  • Notice God called light “good” before sin occurred and before light or dark contained any merit or evil from human interference. God then separated light, with its inherent goodness, in order to accentuate the difference between it and darkness. He was PREPARING Creation for the recognition of two essences – the knowledge of something good and something less than. Even before sin, darkness has been separate from light’s goodness. So why did God allow darkness at all? Perhaps so humankind would know the difference…

Gen. 1:6-13 – “And God said, ‘Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water.’ So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. God called the expanse ‘sky.’ And there was evening, and there was morning--the second day. And God said, ‘Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.’ And it was so. God called the dry ground ‘land,’ and the gathered waters he called ‘seas.’ And God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.’ And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the third day. ”

  • God was PATIENT, waiting ‘til the second day to create the sky and a third day for dry ground. He spoke the vegetation into the ground immediately, but notice He made them seed and fruit-bearing, requiring time and PROCESS for them to reach full productivity.

Gen. 1:14-19 – “And God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.’ And it was so. God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the fourth day.”

  • God went to a lot of trouble in this PROCESS of Creation to remind us daily of His distinction between light and dark, good and less than His best.

Gen. 1:20-23 – “And God said, ‘Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.’ So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. God blessed them and said, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.’ And there was evening, and there was morning--the fifth day.”

  • All the water creatures and birds were spoken into being on the fifth day – more PROCESS and PATIENCE and PREPARATION for all God would create on the sixth day....

Lord, it astounds me that You PATIENTLY chose to make Creation a PROCESS of PREPARATION rather than speak it immediately, wholly into existence. What seems to me a painfully slow and meticulous delay was to You a labor of love for the precious Creation You knew would later betray You. Oh, what kind of love is this that gives so lavishly? I am humbled to reverent awe….


Nancy said...

This is really good for me today--my husband has been out of a job for 3 months now. The PROCESS of looking for a job in an area where there are more & more layoffs every week is really frustrating! I never thought of how God went through a "slow" process of creating the world, when he could have done it in an instant. This gives me a new perspective on the job search too. Thanks Mesu!

Mesu Andrews said...

I know so many are struggling to find jobs right now. Any kind of waiting is hard, but it's especially hard when it comes to the provision of our livelihood. I pray the Lord works His creative process quickly in your husband's job search! Blessings, dear one!