So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Genesis 1:27)
the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (Genesis 2:7)
Many people seek exercise as a way to “get back” something they lost in regard to their bodies. We want to return to the “glory days” when our younger body naturally looked like we wanted it to, we moved freely, bending with ease through our days… we walked about unashamed in the garden of Eden, the paradise of our youth.
What happened to that time of great beauty? We have hidden God’s beautiful workmanship, not content with His great creation. In order to discover where our youthful beauty hides, we need to go back to the first paradise, when everything was perfectly formed by God’s own hand. Looking at God’s methods in creating His masterpiece, we will begin to appreciate His purpose for crafting it.
Today’s verses tell us a few things about how God created us: 1) He used His perfect image as a model for our creation. The word “image” here means ‘a representative figure’. Our bodies, our ‘selves’ are created to be representative figures of God! 2) God’s word tell us that He used the “dust of the ground” to create us. God took the left over “dust” from the earth that He had just made and “formed” us into being. The word “formed” means to fashion with a purpose, to squeeze or narrow into a shape. Can’t you just feel God’s hands holding and molding you? 3) Finally, we read in Genesis, that God uses his breath of life to make us into a living soul. The image described in the Hebrew translation here is one of the vital breath, divine inspiration, giving us our very soul. Our living strength springing up fresh and alive. Without the breath, we are a creation, but not living…it is His breath that gives us life.
“Ah, yes,” you say, “but that is how we were created way back then. God’s original workmanship was perfect, but I have screwed everything up. I no longer bend and move at will, I can’t even feel my abdominals, it’s too late for me. I have ruined His creation. Can God restore me to His image for the purpose He set out for me?”
Let’s take a look at another passage that shows how God can do this very thing.
Ezekiel 37: 5-6 tells us, “This is what the Sovereign LORD says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life. I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the LORD.’ ”
Even when we are reduced to stiff bones, when we are ruined to this world’s standards, God’s breath of life comes to us again, filling us with divine inspiration. He “restores our souls” and we rise out of the valley and move toward his purpose for us.
Father, We know we are your creation and made in your image. But we feel weak and weary. Although we feel like we are in a valley of poor flexibility, health, strength, we know that through you we can reach the highest mountain, and even move it. We ask that you send your Breath of Life to fill us with the vitality we need, your strength-giving Holy Spirit to restore us from within as we move out of the valley and into the path of your purpose. Amen.