Isn’t it fantastic when you’ve just started a writing project and your laptop gives out on you less than a week later? Lol. I couldn’t believe it. Not only do I have to write for a blog, but for a whole thesis! Life is so funny, sometimes all you can do is laugh. Solomon sure knew what he was talking about when he wrote about not leaning on your own understanding and just trusting God (Proverbs 3:5,6). It really goes to prove what I’ve been reading about in Genesis. Whether it is external circumstances or an inner turmoil that’s preventing you from achieving your goals, the Creation story has taught me two lessons: 1) it’s all a process, and 2) have some imagination.
The first lesson was a necessary reminder for me to be patient. I used to consider patience to be one of my strongest virtues. It’s what I thought made me an excellent candidate for being a teacher. Seven years later, and not being exactly where I want to be in life, I realise I’m not as patient as I thought. (The students also test me on a regular basis.) Now, if God, for whom 1000 years is as a day, decided not to make everything on earth in an instant, but to draw out the process for nearly a whole week, who am I to get impatient when things don’t happen for me as soon as I want them to? I would be over the moon to know that my student debt is cleared, I don’t have anything else to do to complete my degree, I’m married, and hubby and I are both ready to travel the world, start churning out babies, or some other exciting activity. Alas, none of those things is my present situation. BUT! (A big but is a good thing J) But that’s where lesson number 2 comes in. Two things I really loved as a child were my grandmother’s cooking (breadfruit cou-cou anyone?) and Sesame Street. The latter used to emphasize imagination. I didn’t fully understand why Elmo was so hung up on using your imagination. But I see now it’s the ticket to a fresh start, to doing a new thing, to changing my present reality.
Verse 2 of Genesis 1 says that the earth was without form and void, or formless and desolate according to Today’s English Version (TEV). God had to be looking past the desolation, emptiness and darkness, and imagining what could be. He wasn’t looking at circumstances, but at the end result he had in mind. I love that. It’s so easy to feel depressed or overwhelmed when you look at what is, instead of what could be. The key thing is to focus on the now with the future in mind, as many business leaders these days would tell you. That way you’re not stuck in the present, you’re working towards achieving something. The crazy, powerful thing about it is, if you not only think it, but speak it, what could be becomes what is (Proverbs 18:21). God envisioned a world full of goodness. From a planet of nothingness, God created a world that is geologically and biologically stunning, all by saying ‘Let there be…’. And there was. Yuup…I definitely need to speak more positive things into my life. I’m learning as I go through life the same as anybody else.
It all comes full circle. Everything is interconnected. The purpose of an unpleasant situation is to bring us closer to perfection, which is why James and Paul seemed to think that going through trials was such a cool thing. Mind you, not our version of perfection, God’s version. Our version of perfection is having the right things and people in our lives and doing things in a way that is blameless to others. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Working to attain that level of perfection actually sounds really stressful. I don’t think anyone would reach their three score years and ten with that kind of hectic, rigid lifestyle. God’s perfection, as James pointed out in verse 4 of chapter 1, is about being patient, or enduring. Endurance brings about God’s approval, and his approval creates a hope that does not disappoint us (Romans 5:4-5). That hope is what allows us to look beyond what is to what can be. That hope comes from Holy Spirit. It is through him that we receive not only God’s love in our hearts, but that we are able to execute the thoughts and creativity that stem from our imagination.
Of course, the thing that we are dreaming about is unlikely to manifest in a day. It is working towards it that builds our patience and builds our faith. Faith without works is dead, and it’s impossible to please God without faith (James 2:14; Hebrews 11:6). When we are patiently working is when we win God’s approval. Will there be hiccups along the way? That’s like asking ‘Do dogs bark?’ But as God told Paul when he was really sick (2 Cor. 12:9), His grace is all we need, for His power is greatest when we are weak.
So I’ll keep imagining and working and speaking positively and being patient. Sounds like a lot to do! But I’m working on the now with the future in mind. Thank God for grace.