Is Creation True?

I got into a conversation the other day that left me feeling unsatisfied. The discussion was on a different topic entirely, but eventually worked its way around to the Bible. Specifically, how much of the Bible can be taken literally and how much is written merely as symbolic prose or even poetry. The question of creation arose, as it often does in conversations of this nature.

Was the earth created in six days as we define them, or is a 'day' indicative of some other period of time? Was there a physical garden, or does the Garden of Eden symbolize the free, unhindered, pre-fallen relationship with God in His untainted creation? Was there a literal Adam and a literal Eve? Did they evolve, or were they literally formed by God's hands? These are valid questions with which believers in Christ have struggled for millennia. Historically they are dividing factors in the corporate Body of Christ, a fact that I am sure grieves God more than we know.

I will admit that I lean toward a literal interpretation of the Bible. I believe every word is inspired by God and given to mankind for the express purpose of drawing us closer to Him. I believe the stories related in the Old and New Testaments are factual. Were the finer points embellished as the writer put pen to parchment? Perhaps. That doesn't bother me at all. I, of all people, understand how fiction can reflect truth, and how truth can be told to greater effect using literary devices - even symbolism.

When it comes to deciding which elements are symbolic and which are literal, ah, that's where I struggle. If a 'day' in Genesis is not a 24-hour period, then how long is it? Does one day stand for a thousand years? Ten thousand? Twelve thousand six hundred forty-seven? And if a 'day' isn't a day as humans measure it, then what other elements in the Genesis account are symbolic instead of literal? And if that's true, then how can I tell which parts are literal and which are symbolic? It's enough to make my head spin!

Today something occurred to me. I'm trying to understand God with my puny little human brain. How ludicrous is that? In struggling to come up with an explanation that I can accept as logical - or at least feasible - I am trying to put myself on the same intellectual level as the Creator of the universe.

You know what I realized? I don't understand. And that's okay. More than okay, it's actually comforting to me. If I could understand God's ways enough to explain them, then I'd be God. If it were possible for me or any other human being to understand Him fully, then He would cease to be an all-powerful, all-knowing, ever-present Deity.

The fact that God performs acts that are inexplicable to me is proof that He Is. That He exists. And that's enough for me.