I don’t listen to Christian music, because I think there are a lot of Pop artists that write lyrics about God and our relationship with God. One of my favorite artists for songs with spiritual messages is Pharrell Williams. He just released a song about creation called Freedom. In it, Pharrell says that all of creation is meant to be free, but without God it is all empty. Freedom is the fire within us set in us by God, the Electric One, but with freedom comes responsibility. This draws on God’s commission to humans to have dominion over all of creation. I’d like to share with you the lyrics of Pharrell’s song.
Hold on to me, Don’t let me go
Who cares what they see? Who cares what they know?
Your last name is Free, last name is Dom
Cause you still believe in where we’re from
Man’s red flower, It’s in every living thing
Mind use your power, Spirit use your wings
Hold on to me, don’t let me go
The cheetahs need to eat, run antelope
Your first name is King, last name is Dom
Cause you still believe in everyone
When a baby first breathes, when night sees sunrise
When the whale hops the sea
When man recognizes
We are from heat, the Electric One
Does it shock you to see, He left us the sun?
The atoms in the air, organisms in the sea
The Sun and yes, man are made of the same things.
I think Pharrell draws his inspiration from the first creation story in Genesis. There are 2 creation stories in Genesis. Pharrell’s lyrics make a lot of references to the details of the first story in Genesis chapter 1. We most often think of this story when we think of creation in the Bible. God created everything from a chaotic darkness.
God said let there be light and He called it good.
God said let there be a barrier to separate water from water and He called it
God said let there be dry ground and He called it good.
God said let the land produce vegetation and He called it good.
God said let there be lights to separate day from night and He called it good.
God said let there be creatures in the sea and birds in the air and He called it
God said let there be living creatures and He called it good.
God said let us create humans and He called it good. And, to them He gave the
responsibility to rule over everything. And God said we could eat
anything, plant or creature.
And, He rested.
This first creation story in Genesis chapter 1 reads more like a liturgy than a story. There is repetition and rhythm like in our worship service. The second creation story in Genesis chapter 2 has different details and reads more like a story.
As Barb read and told the story to the children, in 6 verses, we are told that God created lots of stuff, then God created man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into him. God made man in a garden and planted 2 trees there among all the other trees, in the center of everything, there was the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the tree of Life. Right there, in the middle of everything, in the center of Adam’s sight was the tree of Life and the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
God gave Adam the charge to work and care for the garden. Adam was allowed to eat from anything in the garden except the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He was not allowed to eat of the tree in the center of it all. He was supposed to care for the tree like the other trees, but he couldn’t eat from it. The tree was in his sight, but out of his reach.
The portion of chapter 2 we didn’t read was the creation of a partner for Adam. In the same way God created Adam from the ground, God created all creatures and birds. But, God didn’t find a mate suitable to help Adam. Then, God created woman from man. And, she became his wife.
There are differences between the 2 stories. Both stories tell us that God created stuff before humans. In chapter 1 Adam is allowed to eat anything, but in chapter 2 Adam is told not to eat from one of the trees. In chapter 1 God creates humans together, but in chapter 2 God creates man than woman. In chapter 1 God creates animals before man, but in chapter 2 God creates animals after man. For these reasons, we shouldn’t take literally the story of creation in Genesis. The important message of the 2 creation stories is: God created everything, God called everything good, and God commissioned humans to take care of everything.
I often pray about this second chapter of Genesis. As a single person, I remind God that it is not good for me to be alone and that I need a partner and helper. I used to get angry about being single and cry out to God that He said it wasn’t good for us to be alone so He should bring me a husband.
I’ve always believed in God and have prayed for as long as I can remember, even before I became a Christian and started praying in Jesus’ Name. When I got saved, I was certain that God was going to bring me a mate, because I was now praying in the power of Christ as Christ as my intercessor. I prayed every night about finding a husband. After a few years of praying so earnestly, I was talking to a friend I had met in Bible study. I told her I didn’t understand why God wasn’t answering my prayer to meet a man to be in a relationship with. I’ll never forget what she said. She said, “You did. His Name is Jesus.”
I wanted a mate so much I had allowed the idea of “the one” to become a god. It was my forbidden fruit. It was like God was telling me “No”. I was angry and tried so hard to meet someone. My pursuit was not fruitful, because God was telling me “No”.
Ten years later, I’m still praying, but I’ve finally got things in perspective. I now understand that if I rush it I will miss God’s blessing. I can’t marry any guy who mentions marriage because I will miss what God is doing for me. God isn’t saying “No”; God is saying “Not yet.” And, in His perfect time, I will not be alone; I just have to be patient.
There are many things in life that we make our gods. It might be marriage, a new job, a new car, a baby, a bigger house. We can want something so badly we pursuit of a thing before our pursuit of God. God may be telling you “No” or He may be telling you “Not yet.”
Waiting or accepting that we can’t have something is a matter of trust. We have to trust that God is blessing us and that He wants what is best for us. If He has told us “No” then we have to trust that God knows it is not good for us. If He tells us “Not yet” then we have to trust that God knows the right time for us to receive the gift. Whether never or not now, we have to trust that God is blessing us with what is best for us.
Now, I can imagine that we, including me, are like children in the cookie and candy aisle at the super market asking for this and that and this and that wanting something sweet. Some of us, including myself, even break out into full blown temper tantrum wailing and throwing ourselves to the floor crying in our prayer room just wanting God to give us what we want. We know what we want and we don’t understand why we can’t have it. But, like any parent, our Father knows what is good for us and will give us what we need, not necessarily everything we want.
We are tempted by so many things in the center of our sight, but God has put them out of our reach. Our job is by prayer to discern if God is telling us “No” or “Not yet.” And, when we want to know why we can’t have something right now we have to sometimes accept the answer “Because I said so.” With those things in our sight, but out of our reach, we have to trust that God is blessing us and giving us what is good for us, because God loves us and knows what is best for us.