The Nearness of God

“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.” Genesis 1:2

When I read this my mind is flooded with 5011 questions. What was it like to hover? I want to hover! Why was the water dark? Why was Hank (Holy Spirit) hovering? How long had He been there? Was He waiting for someone? Was He waiting for something? Was He bored?

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” Genesis 1:3

And there it is! Did you catch it? Its easy to miss. GOD SPOKE! Hank was waiting for an undetermined amount of time for God to speak! From the moment that God spoke, a chain of events started that resulted in the creation of everything necessary to sustain human life.

I imagine that there was some majestic playlist playing in the background as light suddenly emerged from the dark depths. I wonder if the darkness was confused by the light, or if it just turned tail and ran. Was there a colossal roar as the waters separated? Perhaps the air suddenly filling space made a deafening WHOOSH. Did the waves have to plug their ears? And when the plants showed up, did the air learn to blow because it wanted to make the flowers dance? Who first taught the birds to fly and the fish to swim? Did the fish envy the birds when they saw the birds take flight? And what about the other animals? Did the peacock know it was beautiful? Was the cheetah the first to race on to the scene? Did the elephant look at the mouse (like I look at the spider) and wonder what purpose it could possibly have on this earth?

I wish that I could have been there. Because God spoke, everything needed to sustain life…and then life itself was now reality. Reality was now reality. There was actual context and scope.

God liked what He saw, but knew that creation was limited in its ability to reflect His nature. He is creative, but He is also love. Love is manifest through sacrifice. If it is easy, it isn’t love. The sun and the moon could dance, but they could never love. How would they sacrifice for one another?

“Then the LORD God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” Genesis 2:7

Dust. God formed us from dust. That tells me 2 things about the nature of God. First, He wasn’t afraid to get His hands dirty for love. He sacrificed the perfection of His clean hands when He scooped up each formless fist full of dust. But more than that, I see that He wanted to be near to us. He SPOKE everything else in to being. He didn’t have to be near to the stars when they began their twinkle. But God had to TOUCH us with His dusty hands to FORM us. That speaks to me of proximity. He sacrificed the majesty of His throne room to be near to love, even though it was messy.

But He didn’t stop there. Not only did He want to be close to us, but He also wanted us to KNOW that He was close. Our faces were touching His while we inhaled His exhale. As we blinked open our eyes, our first sight was His face. He wanted us to catch His gaze and know that we were not alone. And when we beheld Him beholding us, we were forever burned with the fiery permanence of love.

The earth was unfamiliar. We didn’t know light. We didn’t know air. We didn’t know that we would have to learn literally everything. But we would know Gods face and we would know His gaze. We would remember the touch of the perfect hands that became dirty for us. When we breathed, our lungs would remember the intimate proximity of The One who first filled our lungs. Long before we knew we were human, we knew we were not alone and that we were loved.

There He was…sitting at rock bottom with us. And there we were…eye to eye, breathings His breath, and being held by His dirty hands. Inevitably we would learn that ground represents the lowest point. But before we experienced the harsh ground, we experienced the NEARNESS OF GOD.