The Hebrew word translated as “hover” may carry with it the imagery of a mother bird brooding over her young. Even when chaos reigns and order is not yet to be found in what is formless and empty, God broods and hovers over what is to come. God as a loving mother hen, protecting her young. What an image! It’s an image Jesus himself borrows in Matthew 23.37, where he speaks of Jerusalem, saying, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing.
If God brooded over creation before speaking it into existence, how much more so does he brood and hover over us when we have yet to exhibit the fullness of his character in our lives and ways. God sees in you and me our full potential in him and hovers nearby, that he might parent us in the journey.
I do not normally think of the story of creation as exemplifying the love of God, but clearly, his love is present in the imagery of a brooding mother bird. The created order is born out of God’s love. When I try to picture this scene, I see God waiting in eager and hopeful anticipation of what he is about to do!
In the same way, it is God’s love that hovers over us in anticipation of what God wants to do in and through us, even before we come to know him. He speaks and waits in hope that our hearts and spirits will respond to his call, and that our wills will bend to the shaping and re-creating power of his voice.
O God, thank you for hovering and brooding over me! Thank you for loving me and seeing in me more than I am able to see in myself. Shape me, I pray. Call me to the potential that awaits me in your perfect plan. Bend my will to yours and give me the grace to hear and respond to your loving, shaping voice this day. Amen.