“In the beginning…” God did indeed create all that is, us included. Like the emptiness and chaos that existed before God gave them order, so were we before God ordered our lives in Christ. Before you re-formed me in Christ, O God, I was “formless and empty” and shrouded in darkness.
So much of the debate has been about how we are to read these early chapters of Genesis. Are they literal or figurative? Are we to be creationists, evolutionists, adherents of Intelligent Design or Christian evolutionists? Are these things worth fighting over? Whatever strong opinions we may have on those issues, I think what is most important is that we know from whence we come – that before God’s re-forming work in us, his re-creation of our very selves, the picture was very bleak, indeed.
I have friends and family members who have and do suffer from depression. I do not pretend to know the depth of their condition. However, I do remember one day, several years ago, when I found myself depressed for only a few hours. In a word, those few hours could best be described as empty. Sadness was very present, as was a complete lack of motivation, as if nothing really mattered at all. I felt trapped within myself, shrouded in darkness and without purpose. I remember thinking that if this is what those who struggle with depression feel on a regular basis, I cannot imagine how they cope.
Without Christ, this emptiness is our eternal fate, whether we feel it or not. We are shrouded in darkness. We are “formless and empty.” We stand in constant need of light. The good news is that God hovers over the waters of our souls, waiting to make his move, to speak light and life into our darkness, emptiness and formlessness.
Bring order to my chaos, O God. Bring fullness to my emptiness and shape to all that is formless within me. Speak forth your light! Re-create me in your image! Restore what has been shattered and bring life to my barrenness, loving God. I stand and wait in breathless expectation. Amen.