The Hands that Guard Our Hearts

Genesis 1:21 God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

He packed the air and sea with life, life that reproduces exponentially and is mutually beneficial.  The air was filled with chirps, whistles, coos, buzzes, honks, and songs of every kind.  The birds swooped, soared, and glided without bounds to their movement, glorying in their freedom and yet completely dependent on the One who gave them life.  It was the very instinctual confidence they had in their Creator’s care that gave them the heart to live so freely, as Jesus said of the sparrows.  Birds often land on tiny twigs that bend beneath their weight, unafraid because they have wings.  And they do not worry about tomorrow’s breakfast.

Faith in a faithful Creator gives the security and courage to live fully, freely expressing who we are in all of our uniqueness.  This is wholly true before sin enters the world and our wings are clipped, but remains the underlying truth still, the truth we must then cling to as we stumble along.  Grace will in the end win, will free us of all encumbrances, and faith in that final redemption gives us hope to press on in our daily struggle, however dark it may grow.

Life was fully alive even in the “abyss” as the Hebrews called the dark, foreboding, dangerous sea that washed against their shores.  They only saw splashes of the teeming life below, but it was a whole vast ecosystem of curiosity and beauty, delicacy and power.  Even this dark, unbreathable element was packed with the glory of God, with creatures who lived in full harmony with their Creator’s joy and fullness, and in his constant care.

Life is now frightening.  Fear is the appropriate emotional response of living in a dangerous world, for God does not promise us protection from suffering of any kind, and it can come suddenly and forcefully from any direction.  In fact he rather promises suffering in this present world, suffering and death.  What he does promise to hold secure is our integrity, our inner selves.  In fact he uses the tribulation of the world to build that inner cohesion and strength, our fortitude and commitment, and to sharpen our spiritual vision.  Our fear is always checked by this reminder of his soul-care.  Just as tree roots grow strong in high winds, our pain can build our spiritual fiber if we can trust his grace through the storm.

 Father, we suffer from this world’s brokenness.  Its edges bruise us daily.  Help us find solace in your undying love.  Do not let the world’s harshness close our hearts against your grace, but to even open them further to you.

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