Day One // Light & Dark

 

God our Father in heaven speaks to each of us! There are many beautifully specific, different and mysterious ways in which He does this throughout the bible. I invite you to open a dialog through meditation, prayer and art.

Step 1:

Let yourself be free. Be kind to yourself. Release yourself from expectation. Let your expectations rest on HIM.

Step 2:

Watch this video. Turn up the volume in headphones if you have them.
It is an audio and visual expression to evoke thought, feeling and emotion about the beginning of everything we know... The moment God said, 'LET THERE BE LIGHT!”
Invite the Holy Spirit to speak to you and surround you.

Step 3:
Journal your thoughts (or make mental note) and experience and answer a few of these questions in dialog and meditation with God.

–  What are your dreams?

–  What are your fears?

–  How does The Father of Lights see you and what does He have for you? (Every good and perfect gift is from God. This kind of gift comes down from the Father who created the heavenly lights. These lights create shadows that move. But the Father does not change like these shadows – James 1:17)

–  What is God saying?

Step 4:

Read Psalm 139 and let it sink in.
 

Close and rest here in the presence of God. 


Day TWO // Sky and Water

 

Genesis 1:6-8
And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.” 

 

The Creation story seems to repeatedly encounter separation – separation of light and dark, sky and water, day and night, etc. In the beginning, “the earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep,” (Genesis 1:2) yet God found it vey necessary to separate the earth into many different parts in order for it to function, as He desired. Often, the term separation carries negative connotations, yet in the case of creation, separation allowed for the formation of a system. This system transformed a one-dimensional entity into a multi-faceted, infinite-functioned, intricately designed world exploding with LIFE. A world that, due to separation, is everything EXCEPT separated from God -- A world that bears the name of God on, around, and within even its seemingly miniscule parts. 

On the second day, God separated the water on the earth from the water in the sky. By doing this, He took a giant lifeless body of water and created a working cycle of waters which would foster and sustain life and movement for the eternity of the earth’s existence. This cycle, as we have all learned in grade school, allows for the evaporation of water from the earth into the sky, followed by the condensation of that water into tiny ice particles which form the clouds we see in the sky.  When the clouds can wait no longer, they release precipitation to nourish the land and replenish the deep waters of the earth.  Thus, separation was absolutely necessary for the formation of a multi-faceted life-giving system. 

This separation and creation of life-giving systems is exactly what God is doing in our lives. He separates our lives into bearable events and seasons in order to fill rather than deplete us. He has intricately designed a sequence of events and choices to enrich, challenge, and nourish us in a way the breeds life. 

 

Step 1: 

Think about something in your life that you are overwhelmingly thankful for. 

Thank God for this gift. 

 

Step 2:

Ask God to show you the cycle of events that led you to this thing that you are thankful for. 

 

Step 3: 

Think about a current “unknown” in your life – a question, a solution, or an event -which requires your dependence on and trust in God. 

Ask God to bring you peace and confidence as you recognize the way that He works by separating our lives into bearable pieces which ultimately foster life. 

Thank Him for what He is going to do in this situation. 


Day THREE // Land and Plants

 

Genesis 1:9-13
And God said, “Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear.” And it was so. God called the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters he called “seas.” And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

 

On the third day, the Lord defined the land and sea. He created the first living thing on earth when he created vegetation, and He saw that it was good. Each winter much of that vegetation lies dormant, awaiting spring and new life.

 

Step 1:

Listen to Amanda Cook’s “Bitter/Sweet” and invite the Holy Spirit to show you a time in your life when you bore witness to the Lord creating something new out of something you once thought dead, turning something bitter into sweet.

 

Step 2:

Listen to the song again, and give thanks for that time.

 

Step 3:

Is there currently an area in your life where you hope to see new life grow? Could it be a dream unrealized, a practical need, or a relationship that seems hopeless? Ask the Lord to breathe new life into this area and for eyes to see His hands at work.

 

Step 4:

Take a moment to remember what the Lord has done and rest in this heavenly hope: He is good and He is faithful.


Day FOUR // Sun, Moon, and Stars

 

Genesis 1:14-19 
And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on Earth.” And it was so. God made two great lights- the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God sent them in the vault of the sky to give light on the Earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning - the fourth day.

 

All around us are physical parallels to our spiritual walks with God. The changing of the seasons, the rising and setting of new days, and weathering the storms that may come are some examples. God is always wanting to be found by those who seek Him.

When we look to the sky, we are actually seeing the sun, moon, and stars as they once were, not as they are in the present. It takes eight minutes for the light of the sun to reach the Earth, so when you look to the sun, it is how it looked eight minutes ago. The same is true for the stars. When you look to the night sky, you are seeing the stars as they once were, years and years in the past.

In “What We Talk About When We Talk About God” Rob Bell explains it like this:

“If you found yourself riding a train that was traveling at the speed of light and you looked out the window, you would not see things ahead, things beside you, and things you had just passed. You would see everything all at once. You would lose your sense of past, present, and future because linear, sequential time would collapse into one giant now."

This is God’s perspective on time. He is the beginning and the end because He is the author of this intricate story of redemption. He sees each of our lives as one giant now. Although we only see but a glimpse of the story, God still moves in ways we don’t immediately see until later in our lives.

     

Step 1:

Take some time to reflect and write down your story.

 

Step 2:

How have you come to know God? Where are those moves of the Lord that you didn’t see right away? Who do you know Him to be right now? What are your hopes and dreams for your future? 


Day FIVE // Sky & Sea Creatures

 

Genesis 1:20-23
"Then God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.” God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” There was evening and there was morning, a fifth day."

 

Be Wild & Free in encountering God today.

 

When thinking of Sky and Sea Creatures something that comes to mind is how free they are to go and be anywhere. Can we be like that in experiencing God today and every day? Allowing Him to lead us and being free enough to follow Him.

 

Why are we so afraid of being found out by our deepest sin?

 

This is the place where the enemy has a stronghold in our lives. This is the place where we allow isolation and fear to dedicate our actions instead of allowing God and our community to heal us. If we believe in the love God gives us, we wouldn't let this secret make us feel so ashamed to come to him. If we believe that people where really for us and didn’t judge us, we wouldn't let this sin have power over us. Don't allow the enemy to win. Be open. Be vulnerable. Be brave today. This is where deep and true healing will take place by inviting God into our deepest pain and hurt.

 

Step 1:

Close your eyes and picture a place where you are most free.

 

Step 2:

Ask God to meet you there.

 

Step 3:

Sit and talk with God about your deepest sin/pain. Remember you are safe and free in this place. You will want to push away the discomfort but ask God to heal you. Be strong and courageous like Joshua. Ask Him to reveal how you can be free. Trust in the God you have a relationship with. Know that He will reveal Himself to you. Be aware of the Holy Spirit’s leading on this day.

 

Step 4:

Pray for protection over your heart. Ask God to guard you as you walk boldly into being wild & free. 


Day SIX // Animals, Man & Woman

 
Genesis 1:24-31
And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.  And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so. God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”

 

Step 1:

Take a moment to quiet your mind. Think about all that God has given you through His creation. 

 

Step 2:

It brings God great joy when you appreciate and enjoy all that He has created. It is what He intended for mankind. 

 

Step 3:

You are loved deeply by a Creator who sees and knows every small detail about you. You are created in His image - "imago Dei" in Latin, which means "the likeness of God". Everything about who you are is from Him - your emotions (great joy, yes, but even deep sadness - for He created us with sentience, will and empathy), creativity (whether that is creating music, art, recipes, or even pursuit of knowledge), desires....everything. 

 

Step 4:

Think about who God has created you to be. 

 

Step 5:

What about God's creation brings you joy? Reflect on the ways that God has provided for you; in what ways has He blessed you? 


DAY SEVEN / /  REST

 

Genesis 2:1-3
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all their multitude.
And on the seventh day God finished the work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all the work that he had done.
So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work that he had done in creation.
 
Isaiah 30:15
For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.        
 

Our dear God modeled the importance of taking a day off to rest, after all the work that had been carried out during the first six. 

Ever wonder what God did during that first sabbath rest?

Did the Trinity reflect upon all that was declared “Good”?

Gaze at the beauty of creation? Celebrate the successes?

Laugh again together at the antics of the animals?

Recall the humans’ delighted responses to their new home?

Feel grateful? Dance? Sing?

Take a nap?

 

God knew we humans would be tempted to just keep on working and neglect to pause for reflection or thanksgiving or rest. Thus the early commandment to the Israelites taught: “Remember the sabbath day and keep it holy.” (Ex. 20:8)

 

Later God Incarnate reiterated our need for rest by extending his mercy-filled invitation: “Come to Me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matt. 11:28-29)

 

Simple promises: Turn toward Jesus and he will give us rest. Open ourselves to his ways and our very souls will be refreshed.

 

So skipping forward to today: how can we do this right now?

 

Step 1:

Find a comfortable position to be with Jesus that seems to fit today’s circumstances.

Kneeling; sitting; or arms folded on desk and head rested on arms; curled up in a chair as if in the lap of Father God; stretched out on your stomach, or flat on your back with arms stretched out and palms up; eyes closed or eyes open and focused on a point of meditation. Paper and pen nearby, if desired.

 

Slowly, consciously breathe in and breathe out the Breath of God, the nearness. Allow God’s Spirit to pace this peaceful breathing and time of rest.

 

Step 2:

Thank God for this time and ask that the Holy Spirit lead you through it. 

Lay down any burdens or concerns you might be carrying. Visualize or speak or write or draw these, leaving each one at the feet of Jesus for his care.

 

Step 3:

Imagine that you are in the unconditionally loving and gracious and smiling gaze of Jesus, who is generous and merciful and delights in you.

-- If a shame or regret rises to mind, give it to Him in sorrow or repentance. He will absorb it and exchange it with forgiveness and grace.

-- If some goodness comes to mind, give God thanks. Enjoy the gratefulness you both feel for such blessings.

-- If a word of love or adoration rises up from within, speak it to Jesus’ heart.

-- If you hear a word or message or receive understanding from the Lord, thank Him. Write it down, if that will help you remember. Then ponder it. Let the meaning soak deep into your soul.

 

Allow the Holy Spirit to also take the lead in any extended sabbath time you might have. God may give you sleep or suggest a quiet, prayerful activity, such as reading or walking, stretching or dancing, worship or drawing, singing or writing or ? In a day of rest that includes others, there might be storytelling, laughter, shared food and simple activities with thankful hearts made gentle by the presence of God.

 

Closing:

When the set-aside time feels complete, thank God for his presence and for any renewed strength received.

 

Go forward in peace.