By Lynn Jones
A Bible teacher was teaching her six-year-olds the story of the creation. She told about the various things God created. She emphasized that God created all that is good and wonderful in our world. As she came to the end of the session, she repeated her theme. She said, “God makes everything.”
One youngster begged to disagree. “No,” he said, “God doesn’t make everything.”
The teacher was somewhat startled, but she did not react visibly. Instead, she calmly asked, “Oh? Tell me one thing that God doesn’t make.” The child replied, “He doesn’t make the beds.”
I have noticed that myself. In fact, I was reminded of this story the other night when my wife invited me to help her make our bed because she had changed the sheets that day.
Actually, God leaves a good bit unmade in His world. That very fact, however, gives life its challenges and possibilities.
Allen Stockdale wrote: “When God made the earth, He could have finished it. But He didn’t. Instead, He left the rivers unbridged and the mountains untrailed. He left the land unplowed and the cities unbuilt. He left the laboratories unopened. He left the diamonds uncut. He gave us the challenge of raw materials, not the satisfaction of perfect, finished things. He left the music unsung and the dramas unwritten and unacted. He left the poetry undreamed. He did all of this in order that men and women might not become bored, but engage in stimulating, exciting, creative activities that keep them thinking, working, experimenting, and experiencing all the joys and satisfactions of achievement.”
God’s world is not an invitation to laziness. Instead, it is an invitation to work cooperatively with Him.
In His final Great Commission, Jesus said to His disciples, “Go and make disciples of all nations. . . And, lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world” (Matt. 28:19, 20b). The disciples did not sit down in Jerusalem and wait until God brought all the world to Jesus Christ. They linked their lives with His in a mission to carry the gospel to the ends of the earth.
In the same way, we have been called to join with God in sacrificial service and ministry. He has called us to continue to grow and mature in Him. He has called us to love people arounds so that they can see God in us. He has left us His Word to study so that we can grow and become aware of His demands and promises. He has called us to pray for ourselves and the needs of others. He has invited us to help build and strengthen His church.
God makes everything, but He doesn’t make the beds. And He doesn’t make everything in the Christian life fall into our laps without our commitment, dedication, and service. What a challenging and exciting calling!
Lynn Jones is a retired pastor who lives in Oxford. He does supply preaching for churches in his area and often serves as an interim pastor. Jones is also an author, has written two books and writes a weekly newspaper column. He may be contacted at: email@example.com.