"For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." 2 Corinthians 4:6
I read the whole Bible in 2014 for the first time since graduating high school. It was a rich and wild year. I loved it so much that January found me starting again. The first chapter is familiar to most, whether it is believed or not. There is much debate on intelligent design versus creative evolution. An increasing number of believers seem content to leave the question unsettled. Others can defend their position. This time I saw a new cadence in the story of beginning, but it isn’t about the science.
What if creation is important because the way God made the world is the same way He’s remaking you? Your soul isn’t being shaped by tiny cognitive decisions you see to improve yourself. It’s through the word of God.
There are two main things God does that first week. He separates and He fills. God separated the light from the darkness, the waters from the waters, the dry ground from the seas. He fills the land with vegetation, the heavens with stars, the ocean, sky, and earth with creatures. All of this culminates in the perfect Imago Dei, married and at rest. If God spoke and it was so and faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ: then the gospel is an individual Genesis.
In the beginning was the Word.
What does The Spirit know hovering over the waiting heart? There is darkness clinging to the surface of deep water, a soul desperate to be free. Then He speaks. A blinding force releases into the matter. Light, marvelous light, is shining and we can see. Like the blind and deaf men healed by Christ’s hand, the first real thing we ever truly know is the voice and sight of God. A resurrected soul is birthed into the arms of Christ. There is freedom in the space between the black of our hearts and we bask in the light of His presence. We belong to Him; the simplicity is exquisite. And it is good.
Into the peace of light and water rushes wind and storm, the entire space of who we are, divided. Again a trial of separation, this time cleansing. The void that darkness left, spirit fills—an expanse of heaven. What stains were hidden are exposed and washed away. The filling of a Holy Spirit and Living Word overwhelms in peace amidst the gale. Water above, a shield against the enemy, and beneath in the depths of His presence; all at once still and yet stirring. The soul is supple and moves with the air, open in an expanse of immeasurable love. And it is good.
Out of the waters, foundation forms; solid rock, a place of refuge and the cornerstone for sustaining life. Rich waiting earth yields the fruit of the Spirit from the seeds of the word and multiplies. It springs forth as trees planted by water and oaks of righteousness. An awaiting harvest and provision for life to come. The final separation of land and sea leads to the first filling of the soul. In the growth it is known, pruned, abiding in and glorifying the Creator who cultivated from nothing. And it is good.
The expanse of heaven is filled with a tangible witness of our own. Radiant stars shine like a city on a hill. Light is governing our soul and ordering our days. We are ushered into an atmosphere of influence and the life of faith is introduced to seasons. The path we follow, as the word illuminates, is like the dawn. Breaking forth, shining faces reflect renewed hearts appearing as lights in the midst of our generation. Surrounded by an established pattern of the faithful, we take our place in a dark sky. And it is good.
Now a disciple, we are ready for the call of Christ. The empty waters of our heart are waiting to embrace the lives He gives. The words “Follow me” open our world to floundering souls and we become fishers of men. His first command to the living is echoed in the great commission: multiply. Make disciples of all nations. But walking on waves teeming with life our nets stretch; we become fearful, weary. Just when the waters threaten to drown, He takes our stumbling and gives us wings. We soar. And it is good.
The Sovereign Lord is our strength; with the feet of a deer, we race to new heights. He is our shepherd and we know his voice. In the promised land of our soul, the Spirit brings forth gifts, each according to the grace given us. Together we multiply the glory of the Creator. What wonders He has done in the words He has spoken. They have cut like a sword and opened a fountain, creating a clean heart. Through the pain of separation and the ache of filling we have obeyed.
At last, remembering we are but dust, He stoops. We quiver at the first touch and holy hands caress the ashes. From the innermost being to naked flesh, He works slowly.
Then He breathes.
Beauty rises as He speaks our name. We are known. And it is good.
There still remains a Sabbath rest. Though we are not alone, for the Spirit is our helper, we long for our Beloved. It is the finished work of Christ that we work out with fear and trembling. Groaning with anticipation of His return, we make ourselves ready. In the beginning was the Word. In the end there is a wedding. The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come”. Let the waiting heart respond. And it will be a glorious goodness far beyond what our minds can conceive to be one with Him when He has made all things new.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17