Priceless treasure found in garbage dump
Viewpoint of Mark Cadwallader, Creation Moments Board Chairman
A finely preserved object caught the eye of Yuri as he scanned the ground on top of the landfill in Moscow. He scooped up the little book and put it into his sack. Abandoned by his parents, Yuri was a teenager who lived at the garbage dump, finding warmth in the decaying trash and the simmering landfill fires. Bitter and depressed, he asked himself, “What do I have to live for? I might as well die.”
But Yuri had found a pocket New Testament someone had thrown away. That person’s trash soon became Yuri’s most precious treasure! Over the next few weeks, Yuri read the New Testament and – like countless others who encounter their Creator and Savior – saw that darkness gave way to light, despair to hope, and bitterness to a grateful heart.
Like rain and snow which water the ground and bring forth fruit, God’s word does not return void (Isaiah 55:11). Yuri had found the truth. He could now see that God, our Creator, became one of us to become our Redeemer. This present life with all its hardships and frustration is not all there is. Yuri discovered he truly had something to be thankful for – something to live for! And it changed his attitude – it changed his life. Yuri went on to leave the landfill and eventually to enter full-time Christian ministry.
A recognition of our place before our Holy Maker is foundational. We have a Creator – who is holy and just and who loves us. He loves us enough to become “Emmanuel, which means ‘God with us’” (Matthew 1:23) – for our salvation! This truth is crucial.
One of the blessings of this special season is that Christmas can help us keep a right perspective as we reflect on the incarnation of Emmanuel, God with us.
We have previously discussed in these letters that “by Him all things were created” and “in Him (Christ) all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17). It is a marvelous and awesome truth that God so loved us that He became one of us to bring us to Himself!
We have previously noted how scientists really don’t understand how atoms “hold together”. How do positively charged protons stay clumped together in the atomic nucleus? Opposite-charged atoms attract – such as protons and electrons – but like charges repel. Why don’t the atoms in a cup of coffee fly apart in a violent nuclear explosion when you stir it … particularly as we know now that there is so much energy pent up in the atom? What ultimately holds things together is a mystery to scientists … but not to Christians!
God gives us the “general” revelation of His creation. And He gives us the “special” revelation of His Word. Colossians 1:19-20a goes on to say, “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell. And having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself.”
God works with “signs and wonders” in His creation – both miraculous and “routine”. For instance, in the Christmas story the Shepherds were told, “And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger” (Luke 2:12). Unusual?! Who’d have thought?! Yet, such is the ring of truth, and millions – like Yuri – have received it.
It’s interesting to me as a creationist that at the base of our skulls each of us has a bone structure osteologists call the “cruciform eminence” because it forms a perfect cross. Its function is (guess what?) to “hold together” the four lobes of our brains, to keep them from shaking and jiggling around dangerously.
It’s also interesting to me that a very important protein called laminin exists in the extra-cellular matrix (between all the cells of our bodies) to provide support and connection to the various organs. Sheets of laminin act like glue, binding cells with connective tissue so that everything can function properly. For example, our stomach, liver, intestines, bladder and other organs are held in place to do their jobs – because of laminin. And the laminin protein, “coincidentally”, has the shape of a cross! What holds us together is Christ, and what holds us together spiritually is “the blood of His cross”.
The beauty, variety and wonder of nature attest to the beauty and creativity of our Wonderful Lord. Indeed, as the Christmas pageant reminds us, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given … and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The great lie of the modern age – “intellectually” justified by evolution – is that “God is not”. But the truth is: “Emmanuel, God with us”.