I just finished a great weekend with my friends in Wichita, Kansas. I was blessed to share with the hearts of those at Christ Life Ministries, to worship God together, and experience His presence. I pray for God’s blessing and goodness for the church here in all that God will do in 2018.
God is always with us, but He wants us to experience Him in our worlds. He wants us to know His poetic presence as much as the theological reality of His constant presence. Whenever we face a challenge in our lives, God can work in our place of need and bring a poetic reality of His goodness to us in life.
Genesis 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.
These first verses in Genesis are not meant to be theologically correct. They are meant to be poetically correct. They describe what happens when God manifests in a situation. Life works best when things need God’s best. Life is the antidote to anything that is formless, void, or dark in some way. These verses don’t tell all of the history of planet earth. They are simply meant to reveal to us what happens when the Holy Spirit shows up. A battle about how the earth was created is not the issue. A battle over whether the earth is young or old is not worth fighting. These verses in Genesis are not meant to be merely theologically correct, they are meant to be poetically correct. When things are formless, void, and dark there is an opportunity for life.
In the beginning the earth was formless, void, and dark. I have never known God to make things that are formless, void, or dark. I don’t know how things got formless, void, and dark, but things become that way and there was a need for the presence of Holy Spirit and for an expression of God – an expression of God’s word. When light is absent, it becomes dark. When we step away from the fullness of who God is we are left with emptiness. When we forsake the order of God we become formless in our way. I don’t know how the condition of the first verses of Genesis came about, all I know is that it was in need of God. It was in need of God’s presence and it was in need of God’s word. When God hovers over a situation, something good is about to happen. When God speaks, life happens.
These verses are not meant to explain scientific or theological fact. They are meant to reveal an experience. The point of these verses is not science, but a spiritual reality. What happens to formless, void and dark places when God shows up? We have to be ok with not understanding some things. We have to be ok with not understanding a beginning. We know that in the beginning God created, but where did God come from. There are some things we cannot understand. We have to be ok with things we cannot understand. There are things beyond our capability to fathom. One thing we must know, God is good and He can work things out by the power of His love. God’s love brings about poetic realities in our lives. I have learned that poetry is more powerful than theology. There are some things we cannot understand.
In the very first verse, what is the point? What are things that God wants us to know? What is the point? What happens in formless void and dark places when God shows up? What is God’s heart towards formless, void and dark places? What are the possibilities even in seemingly hopeless situations? If we are given a formless, void, dark situation, what does the future look like? In the beginning Holy Spirit was brooding, hovering, and creatively forming a plan for life. The Hebrew word for hovering is a word for what a chicken does in hatching its eggs. For 21 days a chicken sits on a nest of eggs in order for them to hatch. This is the word brood. The chicken commits her life to sit on those eggs so that life can happen. Holy Spirit had an expectation in the formless, void, and dark place. Holy Spirit is God. He hovered over the face of the waters. The potential for the future was dependent upon Holy Spirit’s presence in the situation. This same thing is true in the formless, void, and dark places of our world. What is going to happen? Where the Holy Spirit broods God’s voice is ready to speak. That is when God said, let there be light. What was bound to a seemingly hopeless situation broke open to the power of God’s creative and creative glory.
God’s theological presence in our lives wants to be made known as a poetically true experience. What looks like a struggle is actually a happening. He who has an ear to hear let him hear. Let there be light. He didn’t say, I command light. He just said, let it happen. Be loosed! Light! Come! Let it be! Life! Life!
Holy Spirit broods for the moment of Life! Holy Spirit is God. The older I get in my relationship with God the more aware I become that it is God who lives in me. I pray that this year will be filled with poetic experiences of God’s presence in our lives. I pray that there are many sun rises, many refreshing experiences, and many sudden poetic realities that come by His brooding and speaking to every situation we find ourselves in.
Ted J. Hanson