Editor’s Note: I just want to point out that Helena’s novel is available now in a new print edition. It’s also available for Kindle. Why don’t you join the growing number of people discovering her engaging fantasy world. Shiloh is a world, and a book, you will want to dive into and explore. –Sam
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It was brought to my attention recently that God is infinite. (Here, I’ll pause while you laugh or roll your eyes.) The idea that God is infinite is not new to me, of course. Many times I have tried and failed to imagine a being for whom time is a mere plaything, for whom strength is meaningless because he has no weakness to overcome, for whom the concept of resources is irrelevant because He, himself is resource enough.
What was brought to my attention was the rather surprising fact that an infinite God created the universe in six days and then stopped.
He was not fatigued. His creativity had not run dry. There was no shortage of resources. And yet, God looked at all He had done and said that it was “very good.” And he sat down and rested.
Notice that the Creator did not say that his work was “perfect.” I find that very strange. Surely all His works are perfect. Surely “very good” did not begin to cover it. Nevertheless, a limitless God set limits on the work at hand. He created within a limited time frame and, perhaps, to a limited level of perfection.
It seems absurd that someone as finite and limited as I should struggle with this concept. But I do. As a writer, I find it very difficult to know when something is “done.” I’m working within a labyrinth of limitations. My experience is limited. My skills are limited. My time is brutally limited. But there must come a moment when I stop my work, when I lay it down and say, “This is good, perhaps even very good. I will loosen my death-grip on this precious, imperfect thing and let it go.” Oh, my. What a challenge!
As a mother, I struggle even more. At what point does my work end? When should it end? When is a healthy time to sit down and call it quits for the day or the week? When do I release my expectations of what the day should have held, or release the guilt I carry for not being able to keep my children perfectly healthy or control all their choices or spare them from pain? When do I say, “I have worked hard, and what I have done is good. There may be conflict in my home, but I have attempted to speak truth and offer grace. There may be dust on the shelves, but I have cared for my children, and we have discovered something lovely in the backyard.” When can I say, “This is not perfect, not at all, but my work here is good, and for a time, I will lay it down and rest”?
I wish I knew. I wish that I could give you a definitive line or a clear midnight-of-the-sixth-day cutoff. All I know for certain is that, if a limitless God can call something good and sit down and rest and enjoy his work, who are we to battle long past the end of our strength or obsess over trivialities or hover anxiously over what ought to be released and laid aside?
God grant us discernment. God grant us rest.
“There remains therefore a rest for the people of God.
For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His.” –Hebrews 4:9, 10