January 1, 2013

Genesis 1-3

About 20 years ago a missionary challenged me to journal what God is teaching me through His Word. She said she reads a chapter in the Bible every day, meditates on it, then writes down what God reveals to her. I took that challenge and my journaling journey began. I have volumes sitting on my bookshelf. And I will say that, as many times as I have read through the Bible, God teaches me something every day.

I’d like to challenge you, too. Let’s read through the Bible in 2013 together and share what God is teaching us. I do not claim to be a Bible scholar. But I know God wants us to learn from Him. And just maybe He will reveal something to you that will encourage me along the way, too.

I am reading the One Year Chronological Bible (NIV). Today’s chapters were Genesis 1-3, the story of creation and the fall.  Familiar verses to those of us who were raised going to church. Here’s what I wrote today:

Another new year. To say 2012 was a difficult year is an understatement. Our family lost my dear nephew in a tragic auto accident in June. Dealing with that grief has been the hardest thing we have had to experience… and still are experiencing. Someone said, “Life goes on” and it’s true. But so does death. Geoff is still dead today six month later and his absence leaves a giant hole in our lives that will never be filled.

Then in September, our Dad went to be with the Lord. Although he was in his 80s and not in good health, losing him has been hard. He truly was the hub of our family and I miss him every day.

But as I walk through the greatest grief I have ever experienced, I also have experienced God’s greatest care. So many people have allowed themselves to be God’s arms and ears, His voice and his love to me and my family.

You know when God created the world He created perfection. That garden must have been so beautiful. I find it very sweet and intimate that God took a rib from Adam and made Eve from it. They were perfect. Their relationship was perfect.

Until sin entered and changed everything. The consequences of sin hurts. But here’s an amazing truth. God Himself provided what Adam and Eve needed after they sinned. The first animal was sacrificed so the couple could have clothing. The Bible says God made garments of skin for Adam and Eve. And God has been clothing us ever since. He continues to demonstrate His love for us through people who are obedient, who allow God to hug us when they wrap their own arms around us, who pray for us, who sit and listen when we need someone to talk to.

God didn’t cause Geoff’s accident nor did He give my Dad COPD. God is the giver of good things. But because sin is in the world bad things happen. There is death and disease. There is unfairness and war.

What God wanted me to see today through His word is not the sin Adam and Eve committed. He wanted me to see His loving provision. He does not want me to shake my fist at the unfairness of a life lost so young or the struggle of an old man to breathe. He wants me to see Him sewing those animal skin garments, to see Him hanging on the cross. The lesson for me today is to bow before the God who loves me and gave Himself for me. He wants me to know I can trust him with every detail of life… and death.

Lord, may I be obedient today. Use my arms to wrap someone up in your love. Let my voice speak words of encouragement from You. Thank you for providing everything I need, especially for your Son.

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