Spiritual Musings

Hovering Love

The Bible begins with a declaration of the power of God: “In the beginning (going far back before anything or anyone ever was),1 GOD created the heavens and the earth (Gen 1:1).

Emphasizing the pitiful state of earth before God came on the scene, the second verse of the Bible paints this bleak picture: “The earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness” (Gen 1:2, The Message).

Into this nothingness, God steps in—bigger than the biggest you can imagine, better than the best there ever could be. He steps in with the ultimate power to create, to change, to make anew. In just the first two verses of the Bible, we encounter the indisputable power of our creator.

In the next verse, however, there is a dramatic change. From a picture of God’s power, we move to a second, yet equally compelling, portrait of God—His love: “The Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters” (Gen 1:3).

God hovers over my darkness
The verb hover is also used in Deuteronomy 32:11 where God is described as “an eagle hovering over its nest, overshadowing its young.” Here He is watching, protecting His people from danger. God is hovering, being the great I AM in the midst of their unknowns and fears.

God hovering over His people is understandable for caring for humans is part of His job description—we are His own, His creation, made after His own image. But what is He hovering over in Genesis 1:1? After all, “the earth was a soup of nothingness.” Nothing has yet been created, nothing is alive. Yet God hovers, standing guard, protecting this darkness, keeping a divine eye on this nothingness. 

This picture of God hovering in the first verses of Genesis has given me a deeper understanding of God’s love. It has taught me that God loves me not just because I am His child or because I am created after How own image. His love is bigger, bolder, better, and beyond His relationship with me. God loves because He simply loves. Over and above all His other characteristics, God is LOVE. God is overwhelmingly LOVE. God is indescribably LOVE. God is more LOVE than we could ever comprehend.

If God could hover over the inanimate dark blob in Genesis, imagine how much more hovering He does over me. Even if I’m nothing, even when I feel I’m unworthy, God hovers, God loves. When my life is dark all around, I am not alone. That’s the first picture of God I see in the Bible—a powerful, yet tender loving God hovering over me every minute of every day. Two others mean a lot to me too

God believes in my potential
Looking at the nothingness, He sees potential. God sees beyond the dark abyss and views the big picture of what could. He knows this nothingness does have to remain dark. So He says, “‘Let there be light,’ and there was light. And God saw that the light was good” (Gen 1:3–4)

With the creation of light, a mere 1/6th of creation is complete. Yet God looks at what is still an unimpressive blob, and says it is GOOD! I believe he does the same with me. He looks at me, in my incompleteness, so far away from the finish line, and says I am good. When I place myself in the Creator’s hand to be continually molded, it’s always going to be good. Even when I am at my lowest God sees what I could be tomorrow, and He says “You are good!”

God provides for and empowers me
The third picture of God I see in the first few verses of Genesis is that He provides for and empowers me to do His will. In verse 11 God creates vegetables and fruit. Similarly, he outfits earth with sunshine, water, and everything else that humans would need before man ever was, before man could perceive a need or pray a request. 

And then God says to Adam and Eve, “Have dominion over . . . every living thing” (Get 1:28) I can’t imagine why a perfect, powerful God would trust fickle humans with His new creation! He turns over to Adam and Eve the entire earth—all of it. He does the same with me: Even after I’ve have let Him down over and over again, God continues to equip me with resources and talents. And then He does so much more—God invites me to partner with Him to care for other human beings, to be responsible for this earth, to build His church, to reflect Christ.

The confidence He has in me and the grace He gives me boggles my mind! His hovering gives me peace. Regardless of where I am, no matter what life throws at me, God’s power,  love, and presence will be my constants. For in the beginning, God. And now and forever, God.

1Extrapolation mine.
Feature image by DICSON on Unsplash

Life in Nepal, Previously Published

God’s price tag

This was written by Dr. Silas Gomes and me. It was his experience. (Previously published in the Adventist Review)

“Nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, very well, thank you. Nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, very well, thank you.” I turned towards the sound of the nonsensical “English” chant and saw the source—He was dark, gaunt, skinny, dirty and almost naked.

He seemed so out of place—he was a lower caste in an upper caste village; his dirt caked body was incongruent with the full river flowing just a few feet from us; his blabbering in the quietness of the Sabbath morning was disturbing.

It was a special day and I wished he would leave before the rest arrived. I was there early after ensuring that my patients were taken care of, switching my turn to speak in church, and driving an hour on mountainous road.

Not the best time to be annoyed by a mad man, I thought as I tried to avoid eye contact with him. I hope he doesn’t stop to pester me for money. But He didn’t stop; He just walked on by. He didn’t ask for money; he just mumbled “Nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, very well, thank you.”

As I breathed a sigh of relief from inconvenience, the pastor, church members and the 13 baptismal candidates arrived in the hospital bus. My heart swelled in pride and happiness at the sight. Baptisms in Nepal are done secretly and quickly in rivers that run through remote areas. This was not a time to take in nature, drag out the service or loiter around. The group was already on their way to the river bank and I was getting ready to follow them when I heard him: “Nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, very well, thank you.” Oh. No! He’s back! Maybe he’ll just pass me by again, I hoped as I quickly walked to my motorbike to get my gadgets and myself ready to record the baptism for posterity.

It was a beautiful baptism. After the wonderful fellowship and lunch that followed, it was time to go. The bus was the first to leave. As I was about to get on my motorbike the man was back. This time he had an empty plastic bag held open. It was obvious he was hungry. It was obvious he was hoping that someone would throw a few scraps of food. Yet all I could focus on was his skinny, dirty, half-naked body and his not-so-lucid mind. I didn’t want him near me. I didn’t want to have to deal with him.

I quickly got on my motorbike and drove away. My engine hummed against the background of “Nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, very well, thank you”. As I wound my way back to the hospital I was consumed with the plight of that hungry man and the realization that I had with me a can of potato chips I was too full to eat. The chips were probably all that man needed to make his day. Yet there I was driving away with it.

I have not been able to forget that man. One look at him and I had decided he was not worth my time. The value I placed on him was based on his appearance and his words. One look at him and I had decided that he was not worthy of being part of the baptism scene or my lunch.

As a human being I have this problem of placing face values on people. It is easy to judge people by their appearance, their social status, their mental acumen, and the comfort level I have in their presence. That is my humanness, my weakness.

That crazy man has made me understand God’s love more clearly. The price tag He places on each of us is so high that all the gold on earth will not be worthy of us. The value He places on us is that of His own Son. Should the earth have been populated by just one dark, gaunt, skinny, dirty and almost naked man mumbling “Nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, very well, thank you” all day, God would have still sent His Son to die just for him. God would have done that because His value system is not like mine. He holds each one of us gently in His loving hands, turns us over and over, sees all our flaws, all our handicaps, all our disabilities—and then tags us all equally worthy.

Spiritual Musings

God’s back up plans

Genesis 17: 20 And Ishmael? Yes, I heard your prayer for him. I’ll also bless him; Ill make sure he has plenty of children–a huge family.

God had THE master plan for man and then He had many back up plans for when we messed up.
Ishmael was not part of God’s plan; he was Abraham’s impatient interpretation of God’s plan. Yet when doling out blessings, God blessed Ishmael too. God did this because 1) He loved Abraham and heard his prayers; and 2) His grace covers all–absolutely all–of our shortcomings
Personal Ramblings, Spiritual Musings

waiting on the side lines

Amos 5:14 You talk about God . . . being your best friend. Well, live like it.
My cousin Melchi left a message wishing me Happy Birthday. He is so dependable and loves me unconditionally. I absolutely love him–and his wife, Jo. But I’ve taken him for granted since I was a teen, He’s there when I need him and when I don’t need him, he sort of stands on the side lines of my life waiting till I call for him. And every time I do, he’s there. And he never asks me where I’ve been or why I have not called in a while.
God loves like Melchi Annan loves and more. I really must make effort to start treating God and Melchi Annan in proportion to how I feel about them.