The Cost of Creation

We do a lot of creating around here. We create some “boo-tiful” pictures that are “wery unusual.” We create entire Lego villages that simply cannot be taken down (thus covering our entire fireplace). Oh yeah, and we create a good amount of chaos wherever we go.

But lately I have been thinking a lot about the costs of creation, namely because we are working on a new little creation of our own. Yes, we are 10 weeks pregnant with a wee little gummi bear (as per the ultrasound pics from last week). Yes, my children think it is awesome that sweet baby is still smaller than a Lego man (we think in Legos, people). Yes, we are very excited.

That being said, these past five weeks have been pretty awful. Nausea has kept my usually busy self constrained to the couch for weeks on end, which is no small feat with two crazy little men and a runaway pup on hand. Yet in my hours on the couch, not feeling like myself, forcing dry toast and ginger ale down by the hour, the Lord has been doing a lot of work in my heart (as well as in my womb).

I guess I had forgotten that creation comes with costs: that with pregnancy comes a loss of energy, a loss of control of one’s body, a loss of one’s time and schedule and agenda. It’s been awhile since I realized how much I rely on my personality, energy, plans, and health in day to day life as a child of God, a wife, a mom, a friend, a human.

Sitting on the couch, stripped of so many of those things, God has been bringing to mind Psalm 104 on repeat. In the midst of this beautiful litany on creation from the waters to the winds to the wild donkeys, the psalmists gets to his thesis (v 27-30)

“They all wait for You to give them their food in due season; You give to them, they gather it up; You open your hand they are satisfied with good.

You hide Your face, they are dismayed. You take away their spirit, they expire and return to the dust.

You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; and You renew the face of the ground.”

It’s easy for me to think I am in the control seat when I feel well, when I can wake up and hit the day with all my strength. When I don’t have to think twice about whether or not I can make it to the grocery store or even to the shower.  When I have enough energy to at least be a decent momma, make meals, fold laundry, read books, focus enough to spend time with Jesus. I just assume those things and I depend on them so often.

But this first trimester has reminded me (more than my other two) that I am utterly dependent on the Lord for everything. That He gets to decide when to open His hands with blessings and when to withhold energy, strength, motivation, health. He will send forth His Spirit, He will balance out these hormones, He will allow my body to get past the nausea. But He will do that in His time, not mine.

My mind keeps going back to Genesis 3, where everything fell apart. After man took control, as part of the predetermined consequences, God tells Eve, “I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth.” I have always read this as “Man, childbirth would have been a breeze had we listened to God”. But that is not what is there. God said that as a result of our fall from grace, the pain would be multiplied, implying that pain was already there. Was some pain really an intended, natural part of God’s plan for creation? And if so, why?

The Lord has been showing me that pain in creation was a part of creation even before the Fall. Because we are made in God’s image, and when God created everything out of nothing, there were costs. Not that he was fatigued or that he became less like we do when we take part in creation. He is infinitely full, never tiring. Yet He knew the end before He uttered a creative word. He knew that Creation would involve giving His love entirely to mutinous people, endless labor to pursue rebellious hearts, and the ultimate cost, the death of His true and uncreated Son.

George MacDonald (one of my fav’s) writes the following on God and creation:

“I imagine that from all eternity He has been creating. As he saw it was not good for man to be alone, so he has never been alone himself – from all eternity the Father has had the Son, and the never-begun existence of the Son I imagine as an easy outgoing of the Father’s nature; while to make other beings – beings like us – I imagine the labour of a God – an eternal labor…Let no soul think that to say God undertook a hard labour in willing that many sons and daughters should be sharers of the divine nature, is to abate his glory! The greater the difficulty, the greater the glory of him who does the thing he has undertaken...He is always, and has ever been, sacrificing himself to and for his creatures. It lies in the very essence of his creation of them…The whole history is a divine agony to give divine life to creatures.”

More than planning a nursery or wondering if our Lego baby is a he or she, this thought has kept me going the past 5 weeks. Though God never intended this process to be this painful, He did intend pain in creation, because He experienced pain in creation. Pain is a part of creation and thereby a glorious thing.

What an honor to get to share in His nature, to get to taste a little of the cost that He experienced on an infinite level in creating us.

Thankfully, He doesn’t leave us to only think about the costs of creation. In the midst of my zombie-like state, I have two little living pictures of the benefits of creation running all around me: bringing me “coca lola,” drawing me pictures and reminding me that “In heaven, I won’t be sick when I make babies.”

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