by Tad Lindley
Can you remember the first time you saw ice? I can’t. It must have happened way before I came into understanding. I can’t remember my first snowfall either. I’ve always known snow. But if you think about human history, there had to be a first person to ever see ice, and a first person to ever see the ground covered with snow. As people spread out from the Tower of Babel in Mesopotamia, some of them went north (Genesis 11:1-9). At some point they got far enough north that the lakes and the river froze. That would have been scary. They would have no way of knowing if the river would ever turn back to liquid water, but of course it did.
Anxiety attacks over puddles
Imagine if you saw the puddles all evaporate in the summer. Would you have an anxiety attack panicking over the loss of water? Of course not. You trust the water cycle. It will rain again and there will be puddles before you know it. Are you clinically depressed, because the water level in the river is dropping this fall, and you realize that if the trend continues, by this time next year it will all have run out to the ocean and there will be no water left in the river? Of course you’re not, you know that the water level drops through the winter, and replenishes at break up. People on the coast, when you realize that all of these rivers are constantly pouring millions of gallons of water a second into the ocean are you worried about the sea level rising and flooding your village? Of course not, because somewhere else in the ocean millions of gallons of water are evaporating into the sky. The water cycle is so predictable that we have complete trust in its operation.
Where did water come from?
Did you know that water has been around for longer than light has? Check it out: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:1-2 NKJV) Notice that the earth existed in complete darkness, but it was already covered by waters! On day one then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. (Genesis 1:3 NKJV) Physicists might disagree, but the Big Bang Theory is not out there transforming people’s lives, Jesus is, so I’m going with Him on this one.
One day 2, God separated the water on the earth from the water above the earth: So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so.God called the vault “sky.” (Genesis 1:7-8 NIV) This water above is presumably the source of the tremendous rain that fell during Noah’s flood. On day 3 Jesus created the continents. He shut up the sea behind doors … and said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;here is where your proud waves halt?’ (Job 38:8,11 NIV)
God’s Water Cycle sermon
In the book of Isaiah, there is a short message from God given to the prophet. He relates the Water Cycle to the Word Cycle. Look at it here:
For just as rain and snow fall from the sky
and do not return there, but water the earth,
causing it to bud and produce,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater;
so is my word that goes out from my mouth —
it will not return to me unfulfilled;
but it will accomplish what I intend,
and cause to succeed what I sent it to do.”
It is a beautiful word picture. God gives us something that we see and have come to rely upon, and then he says, “So is my word”, and ties it into something that we cannot see, something that requires us to dwell in a place of faith and obedience to unseen things and to trust that the word of God will accomplish its purpose just as sure as snow is starting to fall and will cover the earth and melt again and flow back to the sea.
Believe the Word Cycle
We never have a breakdown because we’re worried about starving to death if the snow doesn’t melt in the summer. We trust that cycle. In the same way, we should not worry about the events around us. If we are obedient to God, he is in charge, and it will work out. His words over you will not return unfulfilled.
Tad Lindley is a minister at the United Pentecostal Church in Bethel, Alaska.