Feb 11

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Genesis 1:1-2

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

“When God starts something, it often looks as if nothing will come of it. Before he says, “Let there be light,” the earth is tohu (“wasteland”) and vohu (“emptiness”). Nothing here to make the angels cheer. Darkness blankets this water-soaked chaos. So far, things don’t look good. Not yet anyway. The good, and the very good, will come as soon as the Father opens his mouth to speak the rest of creation into being by his Word and Spirit.”

              - Chad Bird, Unveiling Mercy

Tohu and vohu.  Wasteland and emptiness.  Darkness over the face of the deep, yet the Spirit of God hovering close.

These images speak to me.  I’ve been in a place of chaos and darkness through a good part of this last year.   When you’re in the midst of that chaos, it’s hard to remember that the Spirit is hovering nearby, and God is ready (and willing) to bring order to that chaos.

My chaos came from a major internal adjustment I had to make due to conflict in a relationship.  It wasn’t a minor attitude adjustment; it was more like a seismic shift that left cracks in the foundation of my being.  I never lost the sense of God’s presence, but I lost my sense of me.  Those words, “chaos” and “emptiness,” resonate with me.  Yet dark as the image in Genesis 1:1-2 is, it is also an image full of potential because of “the Spirit of God hovering over the face of the waters.”

Today, rather than turn away from chaos, whether internal, as my experience was, or external, such as COVID, race issues, or political upheaval, we will hold it up to our Father who is more than able to create order out of chaos.  Some of that ordering waits on us, as we steward (well or poorly) what we have been given by responding in obedience to Him.  Some ordering waits on Him, as time is His alone to shape.  We can’t rush God’s timetable.  But the goal is the same: God’s glory.  And He will have it in the end.

  1. As we begin, let’s take some time to first settle our hearts and center on God.  As things come to mind, hold them up to our Father, then gently set them aside so you can listen for God. 

  1. Now with your heart and mind more quiet, allow the Spirit to make you aware of where there may be disquiet in your spirit.   It might not be as strong as the word, “chaos.” It might feel more like struggle, doubt, uncertainty, conflict, sadness, irritation, or hurt.

Lift that up to God.  If you feel the need, talk it out with Him until you can find the end of your words and can just hold it up to Him.  

  1. John 1:1-5 is a beautiful New Testament counterpart to those first words of the Old Testament in Genesis 1:1-2.  As you read John 1:1-5, let your focus shift from whatever disquiet you have found in your spirit to God.  Listen for what God might be speaking to you as you read.  “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”


  1. After reading John 1:1-5, what words, images, songs, scripture, or attributes of God has He spoken to you?  Consider sharing those insights with someone today, because it might be an encouragement or provide guidance to someone else.    

Evelyn Okamoto

Woman's Life Group Leader