“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.
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.
Woman's Life Group Leader