March 28, 2021
By Stacy Mallard
“By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”Hebrews 11:3, NIV
The lake thawed this week. We live on a lake and usually sometime in late December or early January, we look out our big windows and all is still as it freezes solid. It becomes a blank canvas of white for many months. We feel a bit stuck in the sameness of the beautiful, cold and monotone view. Darkness comes earlier, the days are shorter, and we wait for the daylight to lengthen, the warmth to return. Then suddenly, we look outside to find the wind is making rippling waves again. Sometimes it happens overnight, but this year we watched the ice be pushed by the warm wind and within an hour, it was gone. We marveled, as my husband had measured the ice at more than eight inches thick just days before and now the blue water reflected the blue sky above it in what felt like an instantaneous transformation.
In the very beginning of God’s story, we read:
“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. And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”Genesis 1:2-3, NIV
How marvelous that first moment of creation must have been! Formless, the empty world waited in the darkness. The Spirit hovered, poised and ready, and at God’s command–His very Word– light and life began. What was not seen became visible, full of life, and then into that world God created the beloved man and woman who were made in God’s image. No matter what you may believe about the timeline of this event, the beauty of the transformation recorded should still move us to praise.
How we have longed for a transformation of our world this past year! We have felt powerless and alone, waiting for a light at the end of the tunnel of quarantines and isolation. We have felt powerless and frustrated with our world and our leaders and ourselves as realizing we have no ability on our own to do the “one thing God requires” of us and to “act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God” (Micah 6:8), despite our best efforts. We have felt powerless and void, drained of joy, robbed of time with loved ones, sometimes when they needed us most. And if we think back, while this year has had its “unprecedented times”, doesn’t every year of our lives leave us with moments like these?
“When nothing we can do makes any difference and we are left standing around empty-handed and clueless, we are ready for God to create. When the conditions in which we live seem totally alien to life and salvation, we are reduced to waiting for God to do what only God can do, create.”Eugene Peterson, Christ Plays in 10,000 Places
Where is the void in your life that needs light? Do you feel empty-handed and powerless to change your world? Are there areas of your life that feel “alien to life and salvation”? Have you tried it all and nothing seems to make any difference? Maybe it is time to ask God to do what only He can do and to wait on Him to create. His Spirit is poised, waiting for the Word, Jesus, and His Spirit, who listens to the prayers of His beloved and acts in His perfect time on their behalf. The transformation we long for is found in the only One who has the power to create new worlds, new life, and to bring light into any situation we face. The story of creation is not just a story from the past; it is God’s story for our lives today. Peterson reminds us that “In the act of believing in creation, we accept and enter into and submit to what God does–what God made and makes.” Believe in His power to transform your situation, your life and your world. Enter into His story, wait for His timing, and by faith submit to what He wants to create in you–the one He created–for His glory. Let there be light!