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Finding Faith: Incredible deep-sea discoveries are more evidence of the mystery of God

"I like that we are still discovering creatures previously unknown to us even though we are supposedly firmly into our golden scientific age. It’s a good and humbling reminder of our place in the order of things. ... I marvel at a God who would create us in his image, but still take the time to fashion the prehistoric-looking conger eel — it’s real, look it up! — for purposes I will never comprehend."

Devlyn Brooks 2021
Devlyn Brooks
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The names read like a first-grader’s essay on dreamland sea creatures: deep-sea batfish, tribute spiderfish, stoplight loose jaws and the snipe eel.

I see in my mind a popular children’s reader book with bright, primary colors and a fanciful storyline about this seemingly unreal deep sea kingdom. Surely a hit television can’t be far off in the making because these zany fish are an irresistible draw.

Only, all of these creatures are so very real, and consisted of only a fraction of the amazing finds uncovered by a team of scientists who sailed six days to the remote Cocos (Keeling) Islands, an Australian territory more than 600 miles off the coast of Sumatra, to study this little understood piece of the globe.

The team returned this week with baskets full of new and rarely ever seen creatures and even shark teeth from long extinct sharks of megalodon proportions. The finds in scientific terms were a pirate’s haul.

Think about that … We are a fifth of the way into the 21st century, and 5,000 meters below the sea, this team of scientists still found a previously unknown blind eel, covered in a jelly-like, transparent skin, according to news reports this week.

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Stories like this one remind me of the infinite, unknowable mystery of God, the creator of this vast universe. A God that created you, me … and all of the whimsical creatures found in the depths of the Indian Ocean this past week.

I like that we are still discovering creatures previously unknown to us even though we are supposedly firmly into our golden scientific age. It’s a good and humbling reminder of our place in the order of things. Sure, as a species, we’ve expanded our knowledge base quite remarkably in the last few hundred years, give or take. But we are yet to know all of this world’s mysteries, let alone what lies in shroud throughout the rest of the universe.

I marvel at a God who would create us in his image, but still take the time to fashion the prehistoric-looking conger eel — it’s real, look it up! — for purposes I will never comprehend.

My imagination conjures up God sitting at his work desk, excitedly making clay molds of outlandish fish that we might one day find some thousands of years later, even after our hubris takes hold and we believe that we can know everything about our world.

“Ah, not so fast! Not yet, my beloved children!” the Creator smiles and says to the cosmos, as a scientific research ship returns with large numbers of new secret creatures. “You are very clever, but you don’t know everything yet!”

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Related Topics: FAITH
Opinion by Devlyn Brooks
Devlyn Brooks is an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and serves Faith Lutheran Church in Wolverton, Minn. He also works for Forum Communications Co. He can be reached at devlyn.brooks@forumcomm.com for comments and story ideas.
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