Last week, I had the pleasure of looking closely at the creation stories in Genesis 1 and 2 with a couple of really smart kids. In the last ten years of youth and children’s ministry at the church, I’ve had the chance to explore these stories with students many times. My favorite way to do it is with newsprint and markers. If you’ve never drawn either or both of these stories, I recommend it for sure. You can find them in Genesis 1:1-2:4a and Genesis 2:4b-25. You’ll definitely find something you never considered before–especially if you’re one of those types who thinks they already know everything about Creation.
Here’s something I never paid much attention before: God creates in a void. A “formless void,” according to Genesis 1:2. In darkness that “covered the face of the deep.”
Those words speak to me: “formless,” “void,” “dark,” “deep.”
How many times have I been there?
How many times have I been in a deep, dark, formless void, genuinely believing that there would never be anything good again?
And how many times, in the midst of that darkness, has God come along and created something beautiful that I never even imagined could exist?
Our God is a god of creation and redemption. Our God is a god who can turn empty and shadowy into abundant and bright!
As I look back on my life, I see many places that were once dark to me. I’m so glad that in every one of them, God created something wonderful. I couldn’t be where I am now if I hadn’t been where I was then. I think about friendships that were made or cemented in hard times; abilities discovered in adversity; lessons learned amidst confusion; newness that came only because the old was gone. I may not have followed God into those dark places. I was usually there because of my own selfish desires or stubborn faults. Yet, God is full of grace and never left me where I deserved to be.
I’m grateful for God’s amazing creativity today!