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The other day I had a conversation with my son, Paul, who is trying to find a job. He was adopted from Bulgaria at age 11, so he is somewhat delayed in his understanding of social issues.
He does not want to attend school to get the skills he needs to obtain a good job; he just wants to get a job that pays lots of money. I drew a ladder on a piece of paper, and said, “Paul, tell me, is it easier to try to jump to the top of the ladder, or to take it step by step?”
He said step by step. “What might happen if you tried to jump to rung 10 on the ladder without climbing steps one through nine?” He thought I was out of my mind. Everybody knows it would be ridiculous to try to jump up a ladder.
You might get hurt in the process. I explained that is exactly what he was trying to do, by seeking a great-paying job without going through the steps it takes to learn the skills to do the job. Life is a step-by-step process.
Even God, in the creation of the Earth, used a step-by-step, or day-by-day process. He did everything in order. He started His work by taking inventory of what needed to be done. He noticed that ...
… the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. (Genesis 1:2)
He started with the first step. He needed light to chase out the darkness, but He also needed light to see the process of His creations. He separated the night and the day. He knew there would be a time for both in His new world.
Next, God divided the waters in the air from the waters in the earth.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. (Genesis 1:6)
Basically, He started the evaporation process. He needed to set up a watering system before he planted his plants.
And God said, Let the waters under the heaven be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so. (Genesis 1:9)
After the watering system was set up, He needed land to plant His garden. After He had prepared the ground, He planted the seeds.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb-yielding seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so. (Genesis 1:11)
He arranged for every seed to be able to reproduce.
As His seeds were growing, He took time to make the growing seasons and He set up the lights in the sky to govern the seasons.
The moon would take care of the tides and growing seasons, and the sun would ensure there was light and warmth for the plants and would ensure the evaporation process would continue.
And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years: And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.
And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also. (Genesis 1: 14-16)
The stars would indicate the season and direction for man, who would one day need to sail the seas and find his way in the world. He did not put man on the earth and then decide that man needed seasons and stars to help him in his planting and travels.
After God had prepared the land and the water, it was time to fill the waters with life. If God had made the birds and the fish before He made the water, there would be no place for a home and no food to eat.
And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind. (Genesis 1:20-21)
God knew that everything must be done in wisdom and order. No jumping from rung to rung on the ladder.
Finally, after there were birds in the sky, fish in the waters and plants growing on the Earth, God introduced the mammals.
And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and everything that creepeth upon the earth after his kind. (Genesis 1:24-25)
It was not a haphazard choice for God to wait to put mammals on the earth. He knew they must have food and shelter. He didn’t want them running around in the darkness wreaking havoc while He set up his watering system.
Finally, God made man and woman. Man first, to be the master gardener, and a protector of his wife and children.
God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.
And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, I have given every green herb for meat: and it was so. (Genesis 1:27-30)
The woman was to be an equal companion with him in caring for and having dominion over the world. Eve was created from Adam’s rib, to symbolize that he would always have his arms above and around her to protect and safeguard her as part of his own flesh.
God knew there would be many centuries in which man would need to physically protect his wife. Today, we live in a society where it is easy to forget that protection of wife and children was a God-given man’s responsibility.
Women were never meant to be subhuman. They were meant to be God’s final creation. They were meant to be life givers, and partners with God in continuing His plan of creation.
God is a God of order. He didn’t just cause a great explosion and have everything come into being. He planned it step-by-step and worked on His plan day-by-day until it was complete.
Well, I guess He is not finished. He is still trying to help us create ourselves into the most perfect creatures we can become. It helps if we find out what He has planned for us. How do we do that?
Paul wanted to know the same thing. It is a matter of a child coming to a loving father and asking some questions, then listening for the answers.
The first step is simple: you must study the problem out in your mind, just as God’s spirit moved upon the face of the waters, taking inventory; we must take inventory of our talents and abilities and be honest about where we are in our spiritual progress.
Then we must go to the Lord and ask, “Heavenly Father, I can see these things about myself. I have these talents and abilities and I desire to move in this direction. Please give me guidance.”
Then listen to the thoughts that come into your mind. Read the scriptures and pray again for clarity. The answer will come with a sweet reassurance that you are loved and that He hears your prayers.
In the coming days, you will receive direction; a step-by-step plan and opportunities to help you make life-long decisions that will lead you to the place God wants you to be. That place will be infinitely better than any place you will go on your own. PD