I work with the high school group in my church, and let me just say what an incredible adventure it has been hanging with these awesome young people. I learn so much from them and are faced with tough questions that force me to constantly examine my faith and why I believe in the marvelous God that I love so dearly. Today, they have also presented me with a new opportunity; we are going to read the Bible in a year together, using the GroupMe app to encourage and hold each other accountable. I am so excited to begin this new journey through the Bible with these incredible teenagers; it also gives me the added bonus of reading passages of the Bible that I normally would gloss over or ignore. I am going to try to write on one of the assigned passages each day – forcing me out of my comfort zone and teaching me to see lessons and applications in each portion of God’s Word.
Today is the first day of our reading, and so we start at the beginning: Genesis 1-2 (among others like Psalms 1, Matthew 1, and Acts 1). But it is Genesis 2:18-25 (ESV) that captures my imagination today:
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.
How I love that God gave Adam the opportunity to see what he was missing. God created each living creature and had Adam name each and every one before Adam realizes that there is no partner for him. Then God creates woman, and Adam breathes, “at last…”
How I love that God will never force us into anything. He knows long before we do what we need, but He waits until we see that need before He gives. We need to see what we are missing so that when God gives it, we can breathe the words “at last…” and have joy and thankfulness in our hearts. We need to see our own limitations. We need to know that no matter how hard we try, there are simply some things that we cannot do for ourselves. We cannot force another to love us; we cannot force a company to give us a much-needed job; we cannot force our children to walk a righteous path. We have to see our need, our helplessness so that we can see it when God provides. What appreciation would we have for God if we never saw the things He provided?
When we are faced with our own limitations, it humbles us and gives us compassion for those who are in need. When we recognize our helplessness, it drives us to help those in their own moments of helplessness.
How I thank God today that He gives us the opportunity to see our helplessness and uses those moments to grow us as people of compassion and grace, and into a people of thanksgiving. My prayer for today is that we would not be scared of our own limitations, of the things that are completely out of our control; my prayer is that we would welcome these moments as opportunities to see God at work! Ultimately, that is one of the best parts of recognizing those things outside of our control – we get to see God come through again and again and again. Our faith grows exponentially every time we see Him fulfill the needs which we cannot fulfill on our own. Praise Him for these moments, and wait with expectation knowing that soon God will pour the blessing upon you, and you can finally breathe the words “at last…” and praise Him for His continued love and faithfulness. Amen!