One day when Jared Rabbit was out nibbling on some radish sprouts in Farmer Yuri’s garden, a beautiful butterfly caught his attention. As he stopped to admire the butterfly’s bright colors and graceful wings, he also started noticing other things, like how blue the sky was on that particular day, or how the great, big trees that towered over him looked especially magnificent in the afternoon sunlight. He sat so long admiring creation all around him, that he began to wonder how it all got there. Who made these great big trees, this vast blue sky, or this graceful butterfly? Who made ME? How did I get here? He decided to go home to the meadow to ask his parents about it.
When he got to Bunny Meadow and found his parents, he began asking them all the questions that were on his mind about where he came from and how all the plants, animals, and the sky came to be. Papa and Mama Rabbit exchanged a heartfelt glance. It had been a long time since they had thought about these things.
“Well,” began Papa Rabbit, “we could tell you what we’ve heard, but let’s go ask Grandpa Rabbit, because he knows the story very well.”
So Jared Rabbit went with Papa and Mama Rabbit to find Grandpa Rabbit. They found him on the other side of the meadow, nibbling on some fresh veggies Grandma Rabbit had just brought him. Grandpa Rabbit looked thrilled to be asked about the story of Creation by Jared Rabbit.
“Jared”, Grandpa began, “you have begun to wonder about one of life’s most important questions. Just who is responsible for everything we see around us? Who is the author, the creator, of life? And just how was everything that you see made?”
“Grandma Rabbit,” Grandpa Rabbit continued, “please bring us some more veggies. We have much to discuss and will need plenty to nibble on while I explain these truths to young Jared here.” So Grandma Rabbit went and got plenty of radishes, carrots, and lettuces for Grandpa, Papa, Mama, and Jared Rabbit, and they all sat down together to listen.
“Now let’s see, let’s see, where to begin. Ahh yes. Jared, you must understand something before we begin. Not all rabbits believe what I am about to tell you. In fact, many rabbits will even tease you for believing the things I am about to teach you.”
Jared stared at Grandpa Rabbit with wide eyes, his nose twitching slightly. “If you are telling the truth, Grandpa, then why would other rabbits not believe?”
“The reason many rabbits don’t want to believe the truth about who created them and how they were created is because then they would have to obey their Creator. Most rabbits want to follow their own desires and not listen to what is right and wrong. They reject the story of Creation because they reject the Creator.”
“But who IS the Creator, Grandpa?” Jared asked excitedly.
“Okay. Our story begins like this: In the beginning, GOD—”
“GOD?” Jared interrupted, a sudden feeling of peace coming over His furry rabbit body.
“Yes. God is our Creator, Jared. He made everything you see,” continued Grandpa.
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless, empty, completely dark, and covered in water. And God’s Spirit was floating over top of the water. Back and forth, God’s Spirit hovered, knowing something very significant was about to take place.
“And then God spoke! ‘Let there be light!’ He said, in a thundering, powerful voice that pierced through the darkness. And at the sound of God’s voice, a bright, magnificent light appeared out of nowhere. God grinned from ear to ear and all the angels sang and danced. God loved the light so much that he wrapped Himself in it, like a royal cape! And God separated light from darkness. He called the light, “day” and he called the darkness, “night”. Then evening came, and then morning, and the first day was over.”
Jared stared at Grandpa Rabbit, completely mesmerized. Finally Mama rabbit cleared her throat and pointed to the piece of lettuce stuck to Jared rabbit’s cheek. Pawing at his cheek and chewing the rest of his food, Jared asked Grandpa to please continue.
“The very next day,” said Grandpa Rabbit, “God separated the waters from waters and stretched out a giant space in between them. The stretched out space was called the heavens. There was water below the heavens and water above the heavens. At the very top of the heavens, God placed his own throne. Then evening came, and then morning, and the second day was over.”
“God has a throne?” Jared Rabbit asked, amazed.
“Yes, Jared. God is the King of all He has made. He sits on His throne in the highest part of the heavens. His kingly robe fills the whole throne room and the upper beams of his home are so high that they reach into the waters above.”
At this point Papa Rabbit spoke up, remembering something he had learned long ago. “Jared, do you know why it’s so special that God placed his own throne at the top of the heavens?”
Jared thought for a long time, his nose twitching slightly. Finally his eyes grew wide and he looked up at Papa Rabbit. “God chose to live inside His own creation? He wants to be near us?” Jared Rabbit said slowly, a sense of awe filling his heart.
“Very good,” responded Papa Rabbit, “Just like I’m your father, Jared, God is also a Father to His entire creation. He wants to be near us all because He is our Father and He loves us.”
Jared considered this for a while. “I’m so thankful that God is my Father and that he lives so close to me.” he said.
“We are thankful too,” said Mama Rabbit. “And now I think it’s time to give Grandpa Rabbit some rest and get you home for bedtime. Grandpa, would it be okay if we came back tomorrow to hear more of the story?”
“Yes, yes, my dear ones. I can’t wait,” said Grandpa Rabbit.
So Papa, Mama, and Jared Rabbit made their way home to their side of the meadow. No one spoke a word, so amazed they were at Grandpa’s story. Finally Jared spoke first. “I can’t explain it, but I have so much peace knowing God is real and that He lives so close to us.”
Papa Rabbit smiled down at Jared Rabbit as he tucked him in for the night. “I think tonight we all feel that peace. Thank you for being so brave today by asking your questions. God can always be found by those who are truly looking for him.” Papa Rabbit didn’t show it, but in his heart he felt sad that he had not been teaching these things to Jared all along.
The next day, Jared Rabbit woke up as soon as the first ray of sunshine reached his furry face. He couldn’t wait to get to Grandpa Rabbit’s house to hear more about God and the story of Creation.
Jared stirred Papa and Mama Rabbit. “Papa, Mama! It’s time! It’s time to go see Grandpa Rabbit to hear the rest of the story!”
When the three rabbits arrived on the other side of the meadow, they found Grandpa Rabbit wearing his reading glasses, staring at a very large, worn-looking book. (Rabbits don’t normally wear glasses due to the amount of carrots they eat. But when you’re as old as Grandpa Rabbit, sometimes you need a little help seeing to read.)
“What are you reading, Grandpa?” Jared Rabbit asked.
“This is called the Bible. This is God’s storybook- the very record of God’s interactions with His creation. This book contains the story I have been telling you!”
Jared stared at the book in amazement. Grandpa carefully closed the book and put it in a safe place. “When you are older and able to read, you can borrow this book whenever you’d like, Jared.” said Grandpa Rabbit.
“Now, back to our story! Let’s see, let’s see. Ahh yes, we left off after God stretched out the expanse of the heavens in between the waters. Do you know why the waters moved when God stretched out the heavens?” Grandpa asked.
Jared thought for a moment. “Because God told them them to?” he asked.
“Exactly!” Grandpa replied. “God spoke and the waters listened and did exactly what He told them to do! Now on the third day, God did it again. This time God spoke to the waters below the heavens- the waters on the earth. He gathered the waters together into one place and dry land appeared from under them. He told the waters exactly how far they could come onto the land, and the waters obeyed. God called the dry land, “earth” and the waters that were gathered together He called, “sea”. And when God saw what He had made, He smiled a big smile from ear to ear and all the angels sang and danced.
“Next, God told the earth to sprout all sorts of vegetables.”
At the word, “vegetables”, Jared Rabbit shrieked in delight. “God made the vegetables!” he shouted, his mouth watering slightly at the thought of all his favorite foods.
“Yes, vegetables with seeds to sprout over and over again, and all sorts of fruits and trees, with their own seeds to sprout over and over again too.” And God saw what He had made and He smiled a great big smile and all the angels sang and danced. There was evening and there was morning, and that was the end of the third day.”
After hearing how God had made all his favorite foods, Jared Rabbit’s tummy started growling loudly. As if right on cue, in came Grandma Rabbit with a huge pile of veggies from Farmer Yuri’s garden!
“I knew we’d be needing a big breakfast after Grandpa told you about Day 3, Jared Rabbit.” said Grandma. At that Grandpa, Papa, Mama, and Jared Rabbit all laughed. Then they all bowed their heads to give thanks to God for providing them with such delicious food.
“You really are amazing, God,” finished Jared Rabbit. And they all said, “Amen.”
Bellies full, the family of rabbits basked in the mid-morning sunlight. Jared Rabbit was especially fond of the sun, spending much of his spare time in the meadow soaking up its warmth.
Grandpa Rabbit cleared his throat. “Would you like to know what God created on the fourth day?” he asked. Jared Rabbit looked up, eager to hear Grandpa continue his story.
“On the fourth day, God created all the stars, the moon, and the sun! He created the sun to rule over the day time and the moon to rule over the night time. The sun, moon, and stars not only give us light but they also tell us the season, the time of day, and what time of year it is. God placed them in the sky to separate day and night. He then made a promise to the day and the night that they would always come at their set time. And God saw what He had made and he smiled a great big smile and all the angels sang and danced! There was evening and there was morning, and that was the end of the fourth day.”
Jared Rabbit thought back on all the different sized moons he enjoyed watching for or the groups of stars Papa Rabbit had pointed out to him. He always recognized Orion right away whenever he had the chance to enjoy the night sky before bedtime.
“Grandpa, God must have created Orion too!” he exclaimed.
“You are absolutely right, Jared. God gave names to all the stars and placed them just right so they’d make pictures in the sky for us. Those pictures tell us stories about God and His plan for creation.”
Jared couldn’t wait to see the stars that evening before bedtime. Maybe he would be able to see the pictures Grandpa was talking about and try to figure out some of the stories they tell. Making a mental note to ask Papa and Mama if he could stay up late that night, Jared asked Grandpa Rabbit to continue.
“On the fifth day, God created all the sea creatures, big and small, and every type of bird that flies in the sky. And God saw what He had made and he smiled a great big smile and all the angels sang and danced! Then God gave the birds and sea creatures a very special gift. It was the gift of having their own children! He told them to make baby birds and baby sea creatures and fill the air and the sea with them. And God remembered every single bird and every creature He put in the sea and he promised to care for all their needs. There was evening and there was morning, and that was the end of the fifth day.”
“God remembers the all the sea creatures and birds and He is the one who takes care of them?” Jared asked. “Does this mean he gives us our food as well, or even Farmer Yuri?”
“That’s right, Jared. We don’t ever have to worry about what we will eat or drink. Just like God feeds the birds, He will always give us what we need.” said Mama Rabbit, who had been listening very closely. It occurred to her that without even realizing it, she had let worries enter her heart. Ever since she became a Mama to Jared Rabbit, she had worried about getting enough food and water to take care of him. Mama Rabbit quietly told God she was sorry for her worries. She asked God to help her trust Him more.
“The sixth day was a very full day,” Grandpa Rabbit continued. “First, God created all the livestock, bugs, and all other animals of the earth: cows, goats, and sheep…lions, tigers, and bears… even gnats, mosquitos, and ants! God made them all. And God smiled a great big smile and all the angels sang and danced!
“Then God made his most special creation. God made man and woman in His own image. God made man from the dust of the earth and breathed His own breath right into the man’s nose. The first man was named Adam and his wife was named Eve. God put them in charge of all the animals and gave them every plant for food. And God blessed Adam and Eve and gave them the special gift of being able to have their own children. God told them to fill the earth and to rule over it. Then God smiled a great big smile and all the angels sang and danced! And God saw all that he had made and it was very good.”
“Grandpa, what does it mean that man was made in God’s image?” Jared asked.
Grandpa Rabbit thought for a few moments, looking for the right words to help Jared understand. “Man is meant to be God’s reflection here on earth. And just like God is King over all his creation, man is also a sort of king to all that God puts in his care.”
Jared sat for a long time admiring Farmer Yuri off in the distance. Was Farmer Yuri meant to be a type of king to all the plants and animals that lived on his farm? Jared Rabbit had a new appreciation for Farmer Yuri, not only because he shared his vegetables so generously, but because Jared now understood what an important person he was, as a man created in God’s image.
“Is that the end of the story, Grandpa?”
“Not yet,” Grandpa answered. “There is still one more day of this special week. On the seventh day, God sat down on his throne. He rested from all his work that He had done. And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy.”
“What does ‘holy’ mean?” Jared asked.
“To make something holy means to set it apart for God. The seventh day was set apart for remembering the work God had done all week. It’s for all of God’s people to remember this very story I have been telling you, week after week, year after year, forever and ever! It’s called the Sabbath day. And since God rested on the Sabbath, it’s a day for us to rest and be refreshed too.”
Jared Rabbit liked the seventh day very much. After all, relaxing out in the meadow was one of his favorite hobbies. And now that Grandpa’s story was over, the family of rabbits spent the remainder of the day doing just that. But for Jared, this day was different than other days in the past. Jared knew this day belonged to God and his heart was full of worship as he rested in God’s presence and thought about all the days of creation.
That night after Jared had gone to bed, Papa and Mama Rabbit couldn’t sleep.
“I’m so sorry,” said Papa Rabbit to Mama Rabbit. “I have not been putting God first. I have let other things become more important to me. Will you forgive me and will you help me to lead our family in the right path of following Him?”
“Yes, my dear. I’m so thankful God has used Jared to bring us back to Him.”
While Papa and Mama Rabbit agreed together to put God first in their lives, Jared was having a dream. He was walking through a beautiful, lush garden with flowers, all sorts of fruit trees, and all of his favorite vegetables growing every where he turned. There was a river that flowed in the middle of the garden. In the distance he could see a tall mountain where the river began. The mountain was covered in bright stones of all different colors. The bottom of the mountain looked like it was wrapped in stones of fire and the top of the mountain glowed with a bright light. Jared felt so much peace. He wanted to stay in this refreshing garden and be near this mountain forever. Then he woke up.
The next morning, the three rushed over to Grandpa’s house so Jared could tell him about the dream.
“I believe God was giving you a picture of the garden He made for Adam and Eve to live in.” Grandpa said. “That was meant to be our home forever.”
Jared closed his eyes, remembering all the beautiful sights, sounds, and smells from his dream. It had felt so wonderful, so right… so perfect.
“Things don’t seem right, Grandpa.” Jared said suddenly, opening his eyes.
“What do you mean, Jared?” asked Grandpa Rabbit.
“I’ve seen some rabbits being unkind to one another. Last week I saw Sammy Rabbit make Suzie Rabbit cry and he didn’t even say he was sorry. And remember when it rained so much last year and many of Farmer Yuri’s crops died? That just didn’t seem right…”
Grandpa nodded his head in agreement.
Jared thought for a moment and said sadly, “What about Farmer Yuri’s wife? It’s not right what has happened to her.” The whole meadow knew that Farmer Yuri’s wife had been sick for a long time. She spent most of her time inside in bed so Jared had not even seen her since last summer.
The group was quiet for a while. Finally Grandpa spoke. “Those are all very good questions, Jared. And I would be happy to talk more with you about those things. But for now, what I really want you to know from all of our lessons together is that the God who created you and me, the God who created the beautiful garden in your dream, He is the one true God. If we come to him humbly and give him our whole lives, he will bring us back to that garden to rest. He will bring us to His Kingdom, to the land of the living, where there will be no more tears, no more death, and where all people will worship Him fully. Your dream will become real if you follow God and wait for Him with patience and endurance.”
“I will follow Him!” Jared exclaimed, more confident than he had ever been about anything in His life.
“So will we, Jared.” Said Papa and Mama Rabbit together. “We will all follow Him.”
As the three rabbits started making their way home, a song filled Jared’s heart and he began to sing out loud for all to hear.
Thank you God for making me.
You deserve all glory, honor and power!
I now know it was You who created all things. It is by Your will that they were created.
All these things Your hand has made! So all these things came to be.
I will choose You every day. You are worthy to be praised!