I asked my amazing and wise friend Steph to write a blog for Single Christian Girls. If you enjoy this post, you should check out her blog Everyday Awe. It’s beautiful. Also, if you’re close to Minnesota, and like digging into the bible, Steph leads Socratic Scripture Studies that you should absolutely check out!
The early chapters of Genesis have gotten trapped in scientific arguments and children’s stories. It’s not often the place we turn when looking for some inspirational Bible reading. Yet, the poetry and images contained within these earliest chapters paint some stunning portraits of God and humanity, if we have the eyes to see them.
One of my favorites comes in Genesis 1:11,
“Then God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees on the earth bearing fruit after their kind with seed in them”; and it was so.”
How easy it is to jump to what God created, without pausing to notice how God created. Both the product and the process reveal things about the Lord’s character.
The anticipation had been building. God called light from darkness, and crafted space between the waters. Creation had begun, but yet life had not yet become part of it. Hydrangeas and roses, oak trees and pines, cacti and fruit trees were all resting in the imagination of the Creator, waiting to be birthed.
Yet when day three came, when the time for vegetation arrived, God did not thrust full grown vegetation onto the scene. The Creator shared with the creation the role of bringing life. Did you catch it? God did not say, “Let there be plants.” God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation.”
God did not create plants. God created seeds.
God planted underground the seeds of future life and beauty, and allowed the earth to partner in the act of creation.
“The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. There was evening and there was morning, a third day.” – Genesis 1:12-13
Then, the Creator waited. God let the earth break open the seeds, nurture the sprouts, and grow the flowers, vines, and trees into full grown beauties. Once those mature plants carried fruit with seeds in them, ready to start the process all over again, the Creator’s work and the earth’s work was done, and God called the day good.
Ephesians 2:10 is an oft quoted verse for good reason. We are God’s masterpieces, created intentionally, carefully, and beautifully. The second half of this verse adds to the first, saying we were also created “to do good works.”
Though the word “good” is often trapped in realms of “moral,” let us not forget that the first use of the word good is in that creation narrative of Genesis.
We, like the earth, were created to create. There are seeds of future life within us, waiting to be broken open, seeds we are called to nurture and water and grow into something that will make this world a deeper reflection of its good Creator.
Those seeds are what make us unique, and can come in many forms. Poems, paintings, and more traditional forms of art are surely among them. But so are well-ordered meetings that honor the gifts of those participating in them, or great meals that satisfy hunger and companionship, or helpful spreadsheets that bring order to a problem, or deep questions that bring life and purpose to conversations.
Too often, we don’t let what we have grow into something that we share with others. We are afraid that what we can bring isn’t good enough, or are waiting for a job that’s better before we really let ourselves dig in, or have had seedlings squashed in the past and are nervous to try again. Pretty soon, we think there aren’t any seeds there at all.
Don’t let your circumstances fool you. The seeds are plentiful. Sometimes, they rest dormant for a season, like the bulbs lying in wait below the winter snows, but they are there.
One of my favorite flowers is the hydrangea. I love the burst of blooms at the end of each stem. I also have an affinity for potted flowers whose blooms last longer than the cut variety.
I also love the variety of colors from true blue to deep purple to bright pink.
In the seed, the hydrangea has the potential to be any of those colors. It is the pH of the soil that determines the hydrangea’s final hue.
Our hurts and fears and history, if we let them, can actually weave their way into the beauty of the life that comes forth. They have not destroyed the seeds, but have only changed the soil. Even if we carry a similar seed to someone else, it will not be the same. Our unique stories will make our flowers pink and theirs blue, which makes neither better nor worse, but works together to make this creation shine.
The Creator is inviting you to bring new life and beauty to this world. Will you let what is within you come forth?