A pandemic. It brings fear, reaction and chaos…disorder.

In chaos or chaotic times people usually react in several ways. One is of course to self-preserve like buying 10 cases of toilet paper or ALL the beans on the entire shelf. (Hey, not condemning here, we all have families we are thinking about!) But I think the point is we are in reaction mode. Other ways people try to cope in chaos is by finding and blaming a scapegoat for our situation or even resorting to force or violence to try and restore the previous “order” of their lives (sadly, we’ve already heard stories of these kinds of behavior). But is restoring the same order of things what we really want? Or is this an opportunity to create something entirely new, a reorder of things, out of the disorder?
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How does God deal with chaos? Does He react? Does He blame? Does He try and enforce “order”?
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Genesis one gives us a powerful glimpse into how God responds to chaos.
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“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
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The “without form and void” was a way of saying “chaos” and expressed in Hebrew as the “tohu-wa-bohu.” Just the words sound pretty chaotic! But hold on, look! …God is not reacting but He creates! In fact we will see that God does His most creative work in places of chaos.
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Genesis one reveals a God who does not react to chaos but instead starts by simply hovering over it (the image is like a mother hen over her eggs!) He sees it’s possibilities and sets out to create something new and beautiful…something good. Then, astoundingly, the unformed chaos is invited to create with Him as He speaks to the sea and says “bring forth life!” And the sea obeys and participates in the new creation and brings forth fish and sea life.
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I had a “vision” last night of the world under the chaos of this pandemic and saw the “darkness over the face of the deep” and it was black and spreading. But just as quickly, I began to see little sparks of light popping up all over the darkness and sparkling brighter and brighter enlivening the darkness and then, “overwhelming” it (John 1). The Psalmist says, “even the darkness is light to Him.” Can you see the lights, The Light, shining in this darkness?
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I realized that this crisis, this chaos, is an opportunity for us to “shine like stars in the universe” as we express our image and likeness like never before in new, creative, heartwarming and even mind-blowing ways! And since this truth is written on every person’s heart we can celebrate its wonder wherever we find it. It’s all ultimately from Him!
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As the Church, we have the deeper revelation and awareness that it was Jesus’ creative love operating through the chaos of His crucifixion that brought us life and reorder. The story of the cross was one of utter mayhem, confusion, scapegoating and violence and yet He used this ultimate disorder to create the most beautiful reorder of the creation through the most astounding Romance and Rescue Story of the ages! Yet this reordering is an “already and not yet” hope that we get to be a part of (a post for another time to unpack!) It is our Father’s heart and desire for everyone to enter into this Story and join in this new creation process with Him!
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I want to encourage you all to look for the lights out there and especially for the Light of Christ that is within you and, “Let your light shine before all the world!” Show others how God can use the chaos to create something new that they have never seen before…through you! It doesn’t have to be heroic but just a creative way that you connect with your family, serve a neighbor or cheer up a friend. But don’t neglect taking time to learn to”Be still” and cultivate some self and soul care during this season! (See our post: Rehearse a Better Story: Meditate)
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What are some creative things in the chaos that you have witnessed these past weeks? What are some new things God is creating in you within the chaos…to bring forth life?
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Here is something uplifting! — Videos of people in Italy singing together from their balconies to cheer one another on!
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Here’s an article from Harvard relating the good news within the pandemic: “The News Is Not All Bad.” A helpful positive read.