1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.
What if we could start over? What if we could wipe out and erase the mistakes of the past, or the poor decisions of the present? Wouldn’t it be nice if God gave us do over’s? Imagine if everyone had one of those big red Staples buttons and all we had to do was push the button and everything that is out of order in our lives was suddenly in order.
According to Genesis chapter one, specifically the first five verses, the power to reorder the state of our affairs and those in our world rests in the word and activity of God. The text begins by saying, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Isn’t it interesting that prior to the birth of a child there is so much hope and promise that surrounds the anticipation of that child’s birth. Expectant parents beam with joy as they prepare for the entrance of their child into the world. However, the joy of expectancy is surpassed by the joy of arrival. On the day that little Johnny or Susie bursts onto the scene the expectant parents become actual parents. The fruit of their creation is now a living breathing reality. There is no joy like the joy we experience when we have given birth to something. All of the pain and discomfort we have felt carrying what was inside of us as it was being shaped and formed is set aside and forgotten after we have given birth and see the product of our creation. God, in whose image we were created, gave birth to the heavens and the earth. God used the creative power that was in Him to make something and then bring it into existence. Since we are created in the image of this same God, we also possess the same creative power. All of the different inventions that have been introduced throughout history started as a seed in the mind, heart and soul of a person. The seed was germinated by the spirit of inspiration, and carried within the person until such time as their water broke signaling they were ready to give birth. Until we are ready to engage in the process of creation we will not realize the creative power within us.
Everything that is created will experience some periods of darkness. The Bible says, “The earth was formless, empty and covered in darkness.” What God brought forth and created was surrounded and immersed in darkness, barrenness, and chaos. Have you ever noticed how quickly things can change? We can be on top of the world one minute as things are going well for us and then the next we find ourselves behind the eight ball. Most of us, and even most economist, never saw the economic downturn that we are experiencing coming. As God looked down at the earth He saw an environment where nothing was going on, chaos and confusion reined and the prospects of anything positive happening were not very good. When all of our dreams, hopes and aspirations have dried up our present and future begins to look bleak, dark and empty. When we cannot make sense of the things that we are experiencing or the difficulties we are encountering we usually find ourselves in a dark and dreary place. When our best efforts are met with resistance, and our expectation for success is undercut by lack of opportunity or failure it is easy to become depressed and discouraged because darkness has clouded our present and future. But, the Bible says, “The Spirit of God was hovering.” The presence of the Spirit of God is a reminder that even in our darkest hour God is near. On a return flight from the Caribbean, Jill and I were informed that because of congestion on the runway our plane could not land. We were told that instead the plane would hover over the airport until it was cleared for landing. This much was certain we did not know how long we would have to hover, but we knew that at some point we would land and be able to disembark. We do not know how long the darkness, barrenness, or the chaos will last, but when we the Spirit of God is hovering over our situation we can be sure our exit is coming at some point. While it was definitely uncomfortable sitting on that plane, as long as the plane was in the vicinity of the airport and the runway we had hope that it would land. No matter how uncomfortable our situation and circumstances may be, as long as the Spirit of God and the presence of God are in the vicinity we have hope that our change is coming.
The human mind is one of the most wonderful things that God ever created. It is in the mind that all human actions and behaviors are conceived. The power of the mind can be seen by its ability to govern the actions of the human body. There are many in the medical profession who advance the belief that before healing can occur in the body it must first be embraced by the mind. Before we can achieve wellness and wholeness we have to believe that we can become well and whole. “And God said, let there be light.” It is no secret that before we can become something different or experience something different we need to see something different. Vision is one thing that drives our ability to bring about change. I have always hated darkness, primarily because I cannot see anything. God created us with the ability to be visual and anything that hinders or obscures our vision stymies our growth, development, and progress. God spoke what He already saw. Sight is the ability to see what is and vision is the ability to see what something can become. Words are a powerful thing. If you do not think words are powerful consider how much the things people say impact us. We all know people who never have anything positive to say. Even in situations where things are going well they will find something negative to point out. The problem here is that the words we speak are a reflection of the things we see. If we do not see things getting any better our words will reflect our belief. God saw the potential for something better. God knew that a word could make a difference. Shortly after God spoke the word it became a reality. If we want to change our reality we need to change our vocabulary. If we want to change our situation we need to change our perspective. If we want to experience something different we need to talk about something different. We need to speak our change into existence. If I want to become something than I need to start talking about becoming that thing and stop talking about what is stopping me from making it a reality.
Words without action are pretty hollow. Many unfulfilled dreams, hopes, and promises are buried in the graveyard of inaction. The text says, “And He separated the light from the darkness.” Positive affirmations are important. They help us to feel good about ourselves and provide the impetus for us to believe that which is possible, can become a reality. Consider that until God called the light into being it was only a possibility. However, it was not until God actually did something with the light that its benefit was realized. There is no benefit from potential that is recognized and not exercised. In order for potential to be beneficial it must be exercised. God stepped into the situation and used the light to divide, cut the darkness in half. There are some things we can do for ourselves and there are other things that God must do for us. When we use the word of God to invoke the creative power of God it moves God to step into our affairs and reorder them. While having the presence of God is always necessary, there are times when our situations and circumstances are so dire that only the supernatural divine activity of God can separate us from our existing condition. One of the first steps in recovery from anything is separation. The substance abuser must be separated from the substance. The physically, emotionally, and psychologically abused must be separated from their abuser. Those who have experienced loss and grief must be separated from their sorrow. Those who have felt the sting of betrayal must be separated from their pain. It is difficult to see the potential and possibility of something better until we are able to come out from whatever we are under. After we come out from whatever we are under we are then able to make distinctions. That is what God did, after He created a division between the light and the darkness “God called the light day and the darkness he called night.” Once God steps into our affairs God can help us to make sense of the nonsense we have been experiencing. God can help us to see this is what I was going through over here, but that over there is what I am moving toward.
Some will say how do I know that God has stepped into my situation? According to the text, “And there was evening and there was morning – the first day.” They say that the darkest part of the night is before the dawn. It is the period we refer to as midnight or halfway between nightfall and the dawning of a new day. We will know that God has stepped into our situation when things are at there darkest. When we can neither see moonlight or sunlight and there appears to be no apparent solution to our problem, or answer to our prayer, or hope of things turning around that is when we know God has stepped into our situation. At the point when things seem at their darkest we can rejoice because we know that we are halfway through our night and the dawn of a new day is coming. The Bible says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.” If you are weeping, suffering, or are inconsolable today, be encouraged because your night is about to end and a new day is coming. The wonderful thing about a new day is that it offers new hope, new possibilities, and the potential of something better than whatever we are experiencing right now. We just have to make through the night so that we can see our new day.
In retrospect, this text reminds us that everyone will at some point in time find him or herself in a dark and desolate place. However, the text also points out that God does not leave His people or His creation in darkness. God offers and provides a word to help us to see that whatever condition we are in it can be changed. God also exerts His divine supernatural power to reorder the affairs and events within our environment to facilitate change. Yet, none of this could have been possible without the divine holy presence of God. Is the Spirit of God hovering over you and your life? If not, why not invite Him into your life and all of your situations and then allow Him to reveal His love for you as He reorders the affairs and events in your environment. The Bible says, “No man comes to the Father except by the Son.” If you do not know God or have been estranged from God allow His Son Jesus to introduce or reconnect you to Him. Jesus is the key that unlocks the door to the new day that God has prepared for you and I.