God had refused to squeeze himself into my tiny imagination, so I finally had to confront the possibility that I was the one who needed to change. (Smith, Mandy. “Unfettered” pg 167)
Day 47 of Russia’s war on Ukraine. As America begins the celebration of Easter week, here is an article documenting life in Ukraine right now. Please appreciate all you have and the relative peace this side of the world lives in.
I finished my reading of Ms. Mandy Smith’s book “Unfettered.” I will be sharing the handful of teachings that really jumped out at me as Ms. Smith closed out her beautiful writing and taught us how to rest, receive, and respond with a childlike theology and faith to grow stronger in our relationship with Jesus and God.
I had a childlike moment of revelation this weekend. We took our children to the Jacksonville Zoo for the end of their spring break. It was the only activity we were able to do as both Mrs. Z and I had to work all week. If you are ever in the area, Jacksonville Zoo is a must see (if you are fans of wild animals trapped in human enclosures). I have not been to many zoos around the nation, but Jville’s Zoo is by far my favorite to date. Each exhibit gives you almost a three-hundred-sixty degree angle at the animals inside, so even if they are gathered to one area of their enclosure, there is a chance you will be able to see them up close at some point. Jville’s zoo included ten giraffes and we saw one meander up just a few feet away from us. The giraffe was being fed by a family willing to wait an excessively long line to do so (with the “Total Experience” tickets, which are just a few dollars more than normal admission, you may participate in any of the animal feedings). As this giraffe came up with it’s stretched neck and long, black tongue, I could not help but marvel at the beauty of God. To me, a giraffe is a perfect example of a God of Creation. They are just so unique, so different than every other animal out there, that they had to be specifically made by a Creator. Science, and evolution, can not explain a giraffe. I know they try. Science tries to say because the leaves of the trees in Africa that giraffes feed on are so high that years and years of stretching their necks led them to develop their bodies the way they are. But giraffe’s are highly unique. If animals could so easily evolve, why aren’t there more species of grazing animals in Africa running around with long necks? Why is there not some weird long-neck water buffalo that took to munching on tree leaves? Or why is an elephant’s trunk not longer as they like to eat a diet similar to a giraffe? It is because God chose to create the beautiful creatures that inhabit our world, so many amazing unique species that were gifted to us to live and thrive with. It is too bad that God’s most precious creation (us people) have spent our existence ruining all of the beauty in this world.
Appreciating the wonder and beauty of nature, and recognizing it is designed by a God of Creation, is an example of the childlike faith that Ms. Mandy Smith wrote about in the book we have been studying these last six weeks. As we celebrate the importance of Passion Week, the solemn remembrance of all Jesus went through to win our salvation on the Cross, I hope you maintain that childlike faith in the celebration of an empty tomb and a Risen Savior.