Nothing Is Until It Is

For the past few weeks I have been reading Oswald Chamber’s study of Genesis. Yesterday I read, “The ark stands as a reminder that nothing is until it is,” and “God can only do the impossible,” both comments concerning Genesis 4.

At first I was puzzled by his comment concerning the Ark, but comfortable with his observation about God and the impossible. The first quotation caused me to pause, and the second seemed exactly what a reader would find in a study of Genesis. But the more I thought of my reading, I was reminded of how effortless we often make Biblical stories like the one of the Ark. But as I pondered Chambers’ words, I came to understand that he is offering a deeper examination and understanding into the nuances of the Ark and the possibilities of God.  

Above I used the word “effortless” intentionally because, for me, it describes exactly how we often teach such stories as the one of the Ark, or the exploits of Sampson, or how we make the birth of Jesus so convenient. Yet, do we give these stories, and others, their just due or are we somewhat dishonest in our re-telling? The way we tell  them is almost magical—the large boat is built by a few people and all the animals arrive, while neighbors ridicule the builders; Sampson is a womanizer who performs a last feat after he is blinded; and the young and very pregnant Mary rides a donkey for miles, over rough terrain before giving birth.

But these Biblical stories and many more, even in our romanticized telling, show that “nothing is until it is.”  Yes, humans can do what is possible, but God does or can do (if He chooses) the impossible.  Only He can destroy the world to save it; use a womanizer to teach a lesson; and give hope through a lowly birth.

The Ark did not exist until God willed it, and at this time of the year we celebrate the birth of a baby who changed the world. You see, “… nothing is until it is.” Including our faith in such things.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: