A Word in the Void

Part 4 of the story of how I got started in writing a book, and the journey I took to finish it:

After a year of writing and editing, I was “enjoying” a long six month hiatus from the entire book project. Truth be told, my biggest enjoyment came from not having to think about the book any more.  I was sick of it.  I had spent so much thought, work, and energy on it that I simply had nothing left to give.  As I said in the last post, it wasn’t like I intended to walk away from it, but I completely lacked the motivation to go back.

It was a weird 6 months.  Every once in a while someone would ask me what was happening with the book.  The question often left me speechless, fumbling for some kind of answer (shocking!)  But I never had anything to say to them, because in all honesty I didn’t know.  I couldn’t tell if this was something I was ever going to want to go back to, or if it was a dead project.  I knew I had written it for a reason, but I wasn’t sure any more if it was ever going to see the light of day.  Every time I seriously considered picking it up again, I felt drained – like it was a black hole sucking down every ounce of my creative energy.

But One of my favorite things about God is His constant attentive awareness of our every thought, dream, and desire.  God knows about the things we dream of.  He knows about the things we’ve lost.  He knows about the places where we’ve tried and failed.  And the amazing thing is that He doesn’t forget!  The passage of time and the accumulation of dust don’t diminish His awareness.  He is always there, waiting for the perfect moment to fill the void that is created by our lack.

That’s what makes Genesis 1:2-3 one of my favorite passages in the Bible: And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.  And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.

There was the earth – formless, lifeless, dark, empty … VOID.  But even then the Spirit of God was there, hovering, waiting.  And all it took was one utterance from God’s mouth to change the entire nature of that void and empty place.

Of course, in our “void” moments it can be so hard to see that way out.  We have such trouble imagining the incredible instantaneous change that can come from our empty situations.  Yes, we KNOW that all we need is one touch of God’s hand, one word from his mouth, but when the waiting seems endless and the darkness is so dark, our knowledge often conflicts with our expectation.

But my favorite thing about this verse is that it tells us that God spoke and there was light.  It was an instant change.  It wasn’t gradual.  You couldn’t see it coming.  In one moment darkness was upon the face of the deep, and in the next, that darkness was replaced with light.

We get so busy squinting at our horizons, looking for the first glimpses of a far off sunrise, that we lose track of how suddenly God’s answers will come upon us.  Or at least I do that … all the time.  You think I’d learn after all these years, right?  That was me though, squinting off into the distance, occasionally searching for a clue as to what (if anything) would become of this year’s worth of work that was now collecting dust on my shelf.  Little did I know how suddenly God would turn this situation around for my good and for His glory!

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