Created by God, Cared for by God
By: Eric Lockamy
‘So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.’ Gen.1:27
All things on earth were created by God. However, when God was finished creating everything else, He wanted a creation of His to rule over and care for the rest of the created world. So on the sixth day of creation He created man and woman to perform this task. I was thinking about this as I was pondering on how I would write about the sanctity of life, this month’s focus. What is special about a human being that sets us apart from the rest of God’s creation? How can we be any different if we are all sinners? Why does my life, my family’s life, and every other human life matter so much? I believe the answer lies in the three words . . . His Own Image.
I work outside so I have the opportunity to see God’s creation every day. Just the other day I was walking along the project I am currently working on, and took some time to look around at His creation, something I do quite frequently. However, on that day, I looked at creation from a different perspective, or at least tried to. I looked at it from the perspective of the creator. God created all of it. He spoke and it was created, and therefore He cares for it. Every speck of it. He cares for it just like the carpenter cares for his creations he builds with his hands. Even if everyone else doesn’t care for the piece of handiwork, the carpenter still cares for it.
Then God created man and woman in His own image. I believe He cares for us more than the rest of his creation because we were created in His own image. The care He has for us is different than the care a carpenter has for his creation. I can liken it to the care that a father has for his child. The relationship between a father and his child will have times of struggle, frustration, happiness, joy, strife, encouragement, and discouragement. However, the loving care will never change. The difference between God and any father is that He is holy and His loving care is perfect and never changing.
God cares for us enough to give us rules to follow in his scripture starting with the Ten Commandments. One that I have constantly returned to for a guide for decision making over the past few years is the first one along with the verse before it.
“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:2-3).
These rules are guidelines for following in our daily lives. However, since we are broken and live in a fallen world, it is impossible to keep them perfectly. God has brought me out of the house of slavery to a new life in Christ. I have had my valleys and mountain tops, but I am out of the house of slavery. Below is a short story of a part of my life that explains how I believe God cares for me.
I was walking along the small field early one May morning where the green beans would be in a couple of months to make sure the field was prepared for the growing season. After about 20 minutes of me strolling along heading towards the future corn field, Pete and his dog Champ, pulled up beside me in Pete’s white truck and started to discuss the day to come and some other items that were happening. I mentioned to him that I was struggling with staying at the place I was and not going home. Pete looked me that very moment and said, ‘Eric, I can tell you are struggling, but you are here for a reason. God has a purpose for you and your life, and it is not where you were before coming here. You are cared for by a lot of people, but more than that, you are cared for by God.’
That evening, after a fairly normal day, I went back to my room and started to ponder on the conversation Pete and I had that morning. I had heard Pete say that exact statement to others and to the whole group of men I was living with over the past few months, but this time it meant something. God had placed Pete in my life when I needed him to be there. Why did God have me at the place I was at that very moment? I believe now it was to show me and others his faithfulness and righteousness.
God had created space for me at Alpha Acres, a Christian recovery center for men, approximately 2-months before that encounter with Pete, who serves as the Work Therapy Counselor. My family, some friends, and others had decided that it would be best for me to go there after choosing alcohol to become the center of my life and not God. I had been struggling for years since Ginger, Grace, Lydia and I had left Mexico with just trying to find a purpose for my existence. I had searched for years to determine what God wanted me to do and where He wanted me to serve Him. However, after a couple of years I was only serving myself and not Him. I had allowed alcohol to be my crutch, had lost employment due to it, had lost some friends, was losing my family, and most of all had severed my relationship with the one who loves me most . . . God.
Later that week, I recommitted my life to Christ and told Him that I would serve Him no matter where He planted me. Thankfully, even though I had spent the three previous years faithfully serving other worldly desires and not God, He still loved me. He still cared for me like the father cares for his child. He was there with arms open wide, not waiting, but running toward me because I had given my whole heart to him again. I spent the rest of my time at Alpha Acres slowly putting the pieces of my life back together. We are not completely out of the valley, but we are consistently looking up as we go over the hills and valleys of life.
God cares for all of his creation, even the sinful humans beings who constantly fall short of his glory. He cares for us so much that he sent his only son into this fallen world to be the propitiation for our sins and transgressions. Jesus has shed his blood so we can spend eternity with him praising God. If God cares for his creation as much as he does, I believe we should do the same. We should care for the animals, the plants, the beauty of creation, the mountains and valleys, and so on.
However, we should care more for the lives we are in contact with every day and the ones we may never meet. The unborn child, our family, our friends, our coworkers, people of different races, religions and nations, and ourselves. We should care enough to help them in times of need, and in times when things are going well. We all have a purpose in life given to us by God and as Pete would say, “we are here for a reason.” We might not know what that reason is at any given moment, but God has a reason we are all created. He loves and cares for us just the way He created us.
Eric Lockamy is a Deacon at Ebenezer ARP Church in Rock Hill, SC. He is married to Ginger and has 3 children. He has served with World Witness and now works in construction management.