(Since publishing this post I created a separate page for this devotional series. Now you can access all posts on one page. Just go to the menu at the top!)
I wrote a book about 3 years ago with the same title as this post. My original intent was to just see if I could write a book. I thought about what would be a good topic for me to write about. I decided that after many years of teaching the Bible and speaking at various Christian gatherings, I wanted to put down in writing some of my favorite thoughts about God. I imagined that maybe my kids or grandkids might someday like to read what I thought about Him. Even if they don’t, it was an exciting challenge.
I try, on this blog, to stay non-controversial staying away from politics and religion, however, there are many of my followers who know me as a Bible teacher and Christian speaker and sometimes I get kind comments and gentle nudges to speak more of what’s in my spirit than what’s in my mind.
So, I thought I’d take a few weeks, each Monday and write a spiritual post based on the chapters of my book When God Got His Hands Dirty, which you can buy on Amazon by clicking the title link. It is also on a lot of other sites that I was surprised to find out one evening while googling my name and the book title while sitting in the car waiting on Husband to come out of Home Depot.
When God Got His Hands Dirty
After I had written the book, I was really nervous about hitting the “publish” button. I don’t consider myself a theologian or scholar. And since I have many friends and family who are, I was worried that they would pick apart my words, find flaws and fault and pat me on the head and say, “Good try, but it’s a bit of a mess.”
I pressed on, however, because I felt there was an audience out there of like-minded people. My kindred spirits who would understand my meaning. I truly believe as the Bible teaches, that the things of God can only be understood by the spirit and not by logic or human effort. Truths of God are revealed to us by the Spirit. That is why, I think children, the poor and broken have an easier time with faith and belief in an invisible God. Those who are arrogant and proud of their own knowledge tend to miss Him.
I think that a redeemed imagination is one of the most underdeveloped facets of our spiritual experience. I think Christians have been so focused on having their beliefs proven and accepted that they have neglected the richest parts of the Christian faith: the mystery, the wonder, the art and beauty, the fear, the trust and awe inherent in the Kingdom of God.
Trust me, I spent many years teaching the marriage of Science and Faith and found that it really can work together, so I’m not dismissing that. It’s just that I enjoy more the thought of God as an artist and musician, stars singing, trees clapping their hands and such. Those ideas fill my soul with joy. And yes, I really believe those things happen – in their own celestial, natural way.
Hearing and understanding God is like listening to music, seeing great art and architecture, witnessing nature in all its beauty, it’s like falling in love. Those experiences bypass your logical brain and stir your heart, your soul, your spirit. It gives you goose-bumps, brings tears to your eyes. It’s a different language that doesn’t use words as we know it.
It is with that idea that I approached some of my favorite moments in the Bible. I imagined myself there. I put myself in the moment and prayerfully imagined what it felt like. I humanized God probably more than I should have, but it was His idea to reveal Himself in Jesus, the Man, full of compassion and love and tears and pain. Sure, my approach runs the risk of being full of error. But I never claimed that my book should be included in the canon of Scripture.
So, the first moment I considered was the creation of man.
“God could have spoken man into existence like He did everything else. But man, this creation, needed special attention. God, like a craftsman, had a vision and nothing would do but that He gathered the dust in His own two hands and did it Himself.”
“Dust is on the ground. Dust is dirty. God knelt down and got His hands dirty to make man. And then He breathed His own life into the man. The breath of God, imagine that.”
All Powerful, All Knowing, Ever Present, Creator of the Universe, kneeling in the dirt to make man. What a picture. If the Bible is one of the ways that God chose to reveal Himself to humans, this picture of the All Powerful God kneeling in the dirt was how He wanted you to picture Him. It screams volumes about His character, what He’s like, doesn’t it?
He wanted you to know that He did that. He wanted you to know that He would get His hands dirty for you.