God did something beyond all human understanding when he talked our world into existence. Just words. That’s all. Talk about power!
What did those sentences sound like? Were they booming and loud? Maybe he spoke quietly or even whispered. In all cases, the power to bring an entire cosmos into being sprang from those words… because of who spoke them.
Logic tells us God is still very much in charge of nature. And just in case we need proof, Jesus included an incident in Scripture during which he aborted a wild storm with three words: “Silence! Be still!” His friends noticed and were stunned by the storm’s obedience to this extraordinary someone.
Here in Michigan, our little corner of the world had run amuck in recent years. The wide, soft-sand beach I visited every summer as a child and where I’ve walked every day since moving here has always had a gentle creek flowing from nearby woods into Lake Michigan. Its path has meandered around the wide beach on its route, offering a safe play-place for children with its clean, shallow water.
Every winter the creek has reinvented itself, carving a different path in the sand. At the beginning of each childhood summer, we’d race to the beach to see what creative turns it had made since we’d said goodbye the previous fall.
In recent years, the creek continued to change its route as usual but had traveled so far down the sand it nearly ran through the beach “next door.” It had also quadrupled in width which left a mucky residue when hot weather dried up all but a trickle. Additionally, the dunes at the back of the beach had begun to erode as a result of the creek’s wild behavior. Trying to cross it to find a dry spot for a beach chair had become risky business, involving a slippery wade through knee-deep, swamp water.
Then several children got sick after playing in the creek that had always offered harmless fun. Our association had two choices: tame the wild creek or close it. Studies were done, votes were tallied, money was budgeted and this week action was taken. The goal? To reroute the creek with a straight path to the lake, rearranging the sand to cover the slime and sledge of its old course.
From atop the dune, Jack and I watched a massive earth mover attack the problem. After it dug the desired creek route, the old dark water raced toward the shoreline exactly as planned, running straight from the woods to the lake.
As the day progressed, the powerful machine worked its magic on the swampy old creek bed, transforming the now-spacious beach into a flat, pristine expanse where towels will be unfurled with new delight this summer.
God just might be chuckling, though. Mankind’s former attempts to tame this natural phenomenon have never succeeded.
Despite sunny skies, my mind clouded over with two questions: (1) Why has the creek never been happy flowing in a straight line? and (2) Does God really want this creek tamed?
One night while all of us beach-lovers are asleep, the Lord might just appear on the sand and whisper a few nature-controlling words over his creek: “Go ahead and flow wherever you want.”
And in the morning, when we see a new winding water-path, we’ll all know who was there during the night.
“Jesus… rebuked the wind and said to the waves, ‘Silence! Be still!’ Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. ‘Who is this?’ said his disciples. ‘ Even the wind and the waves obey him’!” (Mark 4:39, 41)