"By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them
by the breath of his mouth." (Psa.33:6)
It is said that the human body consists of minerals and chemicals worth only about $4.50..depending on market trends. Not much..
Yesterday I watched a program on PBS, the public television station, which told how scientists had taken some ordinary dirt and some chemicals and were quite confident they could create a living creature! "It's just a matter of time" they said.
What is delaying the "birth" of their new "creature"? Something they have to discover first: What is the thing that gives it life? What explosive force takes those simple, ordinary ingredients and inserts the breath of life into it? This, they declared, is all they lack.
But what a lack!
As I pondered this, I mentally ran it through my spiritual strainer and thought of an incident in my own life which also involved some ordinary dirt and some chemicals. It concerns the house in which I now live:
I remember so vividly how my house came about. After my husband passed away and my children had all married and left home, I spent the winters overseas doing missionary-evangelism in Asia. I would return home in the early summers and then back to the mission field around October. Usually, I would stay with friends when I returned home--but after a few years I began to think I needed my own "place" and purchased a very used old 15' travel trailer. I fixed it up inside and it was actually quite livable, though crowded--especially if I had a guest.
One summer I did. My travel partner, Melanie Yap had been attending Bible school in Texas, and during the summer break she came to Alaska and stayed with me...in the trailer! So it was "home" for a couple of summers--which worked out fine, since no one could possibly spend an Alaskan winter in it. (The walls were only 2 inches thick!) But in the back of my mind was a certain longing...for a real house of my own. Yet I did not have the money for one, only a dream for some time in the future.
Then one day as I was thinking about it, the Lord spoke to me to tell Him specifically what I kind of house I wanted. I really had no clue. But since He had asked me to give Him some idea of my desires, when I returned to India in my spare time I would sit on my bed and make little sketches in a notepad. It would be just a simple little bungalow or a cabin with an upstairs loft--just enough for me to live simply but comfortably. I drew and drew...knowing absolutely nothing about blueprints or construction, and I said nothing to anyone about this.
Several months later I returned home, and in a few days I had a phone call from a man in our church. He said to me,"Sister Adams, God has told me to build you a house!" I was shocked, as I hadn't discussed this with anyone and even if I had, there was no money to build it.
"I sometimes go overseas to donate my time building a church or working on some project...but this year the Lord impresses me to construct you a house!" he continued.
"But I don't have money for a house" I explained to him.
There was a pause before he spoke again. "How much could you raise?" he continued.
Thinking of it didn't take very long..for there was so little to think about. "Maybe $2,000" I said. Knowing the price of things in Alaska, that wouldn't have purchased the doors and windows! But he was unrelenting: "We'll start with that" he said.
I was shocked at his determination, and so very grateful for his wanting to do that for me, yet it all looked so impossible. Could this really be happening? Or was I dreaming it all?
As it happened, a dream would start the ball rolling...
Needing to first find a piece of property, I began looking around...just eyeballing what all was for sale. That night I had a dream. The Lord showed me water gushing out from a particular spot on a street right in front of my friend Laurie's house. Curious about the dream, I went to that place the next day and looked along the left side of the road where I had seen the water gushing out. And there in front of me was a lovely lot on a kind of bluff. Yet there was no sign saying "For Sale". I inquired of my friend, and she told me of a real estate agent I should contact about it. "I really wanted that lot myself instead of the one I bought..but it was not for sale. The owner wanted to save it for himself," she said to me. Acting on the dream, I contacted their agent, and the agent got in touch with the owner in California. Would he sell? And for how much? As it happened, the man was going through a divorce at that time and would consider selling it...for a bargain price! So I made arrangements to put down a little money and pay it out monthly. I now had a wonderful lot of about 1 1/2 acres, with nice trees and a designated, but undeveloped city park adjoining.
Later, I was to learn about the "water" gushing out of the road in my dream. An elderly couple in our church heard me tell about it and told me that they had built a house a few years before just around the corner from me. When they drilled for water, they got an Artesian well--enough water to provide for the entire city! So I would definitely have good water, they assured me.
The lot was so overgrown with brush that we had to use machetes to hack our way up the slope, but once we reached the bluff, the view was fantastic! Mountains were in the distance and it was such a peaceful, quiet place. It was evident that moose had used the property for their bedroom. I was thrilled over the tall trees. So there I was, I had the first ingredient...the land. The dirt belonged to me! and surely the other things would materialize as well, for God was in this! I knew it was all miraculous and that I was witnessing God's hand in every detail.
As the news spread about my lot, my friend Barney volunteered his skill as a heavy equipment operator and cleared out a roadway up the hill and began removing the big trees at the excavation site. I could now move the trailer onto my own property, which I did. A power pole was now up, so we were "camped out." Then my church surprised me with a love offering. I now had $4,000! So my builder ordered that much in lumber. The rest to be supplied "from above".
As I watched these things happening, I knew that everything was a miracle before my very eyes. But I was not yet seeing the materials literally lying about--they were only in my imagination. "Flesh" and "fear" would say this was an impossibility--yet "Faith" knew God would supply every need. And He chose to confirm that to me in an extraordinary way:
When the day came for delivery, Melanie, myself, and another friend Ellen were outside the trailer waiting for the truck to arrive when suddenly a white dove flew in and landed on top of the roof. We all looked at each other in shock and surprise. There are no doves in Alaska! Where did it come from? Then in stunned silence we watched that dove leave the roof of the trailer and land exactly at my feet!
Somehow I knew this was a sign from the Lord. I could barely move.
"Are you by any chance a Holy Spirit dove?" I asked that lovely bird. Of course it did not answer, but simply looked up at me, staying long enough for Melanie to get her camera and snap a picture, then it flew away. We never saw it again.
Right after that, the big truck arrived with the lumber--and behind it a team of workers from the church. All those summer months they hammered and sawed. Piece by piece the little house began to take shape, as a flood of donated heaters, stoves, cabinets, furniture and essential items filled every need as it appeared. How amazing it was to see it come together. One of my sons had the water well dug. Another purchased the furnace. Another friend laid the septic tank. By first snowfall, I was sleeping in my own (donated) bed..in my own bedroom loft...in my own house...on my own property! It was far from finished inside...no sheetrock, no light fixtures or even steps by the front door--but I WAS IN MY OWN HOUSE! I had a roof over my head!
In thinking about these things, even as I sit here to write about it, the spot where I now am typing was once nothing but raw wilderness. Yet God took the soil from it and began bringing together the necessary items to make a house--lumber, nails, wiring, roofing, so many things...all made from chemical ingredients. People donated and donated. Whatever was needed...it was soon there.
Today it is now a finished house. Porches are up. The yards are in. The birds visit me daily. Flowers and strawberries grace my lawn. And I eventually added another bedroom. I had work to do also, and lots of it. Friends were such a blessing to help. But it was God's creative force--His Word, that had caused it to come together. It is a living, breathing monument to His miraculous power and faithfulness to provide for His own.
It sometimes takes us forever to shed the shackels of self. There is a lot of pride that gets in the way of miracles happening, because we tend to love our own accomplishments and spend a lifetime boasting in all our self-efforts. Yet there comes a time in every life when efforts consistently fail, and nothing we do seems to provide the answers.
Maybe we miss seeing the awesome truth of why that happens.
I believe God brings us to the point of "lacking", so that we just might seek to understand how to never lack again...
For once we travel down that road...it ends where it began: By the Word of the Lord.
MARY E. ADAMS