If it were only a matter of asking Him to repeat the miracles of the past, faith would have plenty of room. But He is not bound to reproduce. He is the Creator – have we ever let our hearts and hopes go out to the glory of that Name? Look at the tiny measure of creative power given to man, in music, poetry, art – where there is a spark of it, how it refuses to be fettered by repeating. The history of His wonders in the past is a constant succession of new things and He is not at the end of His resources yet. The Glory of the Impossible p.7
How easy it is to become stuck in our old ways. It worked before or, if it didn’t, we at least know what – or what not – to expect. There is something about the familiar that is comfortable even if, at times, ineffective.
Yet that is not how The Creator works in His Creation nor in His Creature, humankind. Consider the infinite variety of the natural world from the cosmic proportions of creation to the smallest detail of the most infinitesimal matter. Cascading waterfall to dainty dewdrop… a galaxy of stars to a drift of snowflakes… color shows in the sky to greet and end each day… lightening applauded by a clap of thunder to the twinkling fireflies at dusk… lumbering elephant, regal giraffe to buzzing bees and flitting butterflies… God designed each with finesse and detail. “Imagine making something as useful as a tree, as efficient at converting sunlight into food and fuel, as huge and tough as a white oak that can live 300 years, and then decorating it in spring with tiny pink leaves and pale green tassels of blossoms.” (Elizabeth Rooney quoted by Luci Shaw, “Beauty and the Creative Impulse.”)
Furthermore, He is a Creator who has made us in His creative image, likewise, to create. To take the stuff of our everyday lives and to respond uniquely to each challenge be it the arrangement and furnishing of our homes, an innovative response to a difficult situation, or the forming of a work of art – music, poetry, art – to express or even find our souls. Consider the vast variety and range in the art forms afore-mentioned by Lilias: a simple folk song to an opera complete with music, actor and stage; a taut sonnet to a wide-ranging epic poem; a line drawing to a skyscraper 100 stories tall.
So is His way with our souls. Fresh and new every morning, God deals with us, recreating our spirits and equipping us for just what we need for today.
Oh how we cling to the old, tested and tried, but often inadequate. How we limit His potential for our lives seeking solace in the relative safety of the familiar. But the same God who is not bound to repeat Himself’ in nature is not limited to how He works in our lives. “The history of His wonders in the past is a constant succession of new things.”
God said through His prophet Isaiah: “Forget the former things; do not dwell in the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18,19) Apostle Paul put an exclamation mark on the same declaring the promise of Christ that “… we are being renewed day by day.” Re-created.
What are the challenges of our day? Today. It could be simply the tedious task of facing a predictable (dull?) routine of yet another day. It could be a health uncertainty – or certainty – that leaves us breathless and immobilized… Or the workplace with a dilemma that seems insolvable… a relationship that near breaks our hearts… setback for which there is no apparent rebound.
We may have exhausted our personal resources. But the God of all nature, and of burdened hearts, is not at the end of His resources. In fact, it is exactly at the point of our acknowledgment of our limitations – impossibility – that the miracle of His giving manifests itself. “He is the Creator… let our hearts and hopes go out to the glory of that Name.”
“Lord, mend or rather make us: one creation
Will not suffice our turn:
Except thou make us dayly, we shall spurn
our own salvation.”
George Herbert (from “Giddinesse”)
Painting: Travel Journal, 1900