Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Obedient Void

"The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep.And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light" (Genesis 1:2-3, ESV).

Jamie lay across the floor, face down, arms outstretched, a broken cross, flattened against the kitchen tile. Her husband Rick was in the hospital, actively dying from a brain tumor. Throughout his illness, Jamie had trusted that God would heal him in spite of his steady deterioration. As Jamie was lying on the floor, her husband was comatose in the hospital, expected to die in a few days. Jamie had trusted God to heal him but had never released him into God's best will. Now, as she lay there sobbing, she surrendered, "He's yours, Lord, whether you heal him or take him."

Sometimes there is just nothing left. Sometimes we pour everything we have into a great desire and the bottom still falls out. We find ourselves falling into the void with nothing left to catch us.

In reflecting on the creation in his book Creation and Fall, Dietrich Bonhoeffer notes the condition of things before God spoke, followed by His spoken Word into a world that was void and utterly dark-not unlike Jamie's experience on the kitchen floor. As Bonhoeffer reflects on this transformation from nothing to everything, he describes "the obedient void that waits on God:" fantastic words for times that we must face the void-options depleted, no further avenues of hope, nothing left but Jamie's floor and the cross. I've been there; all of us have or someday will-staring into the void, the void that God controls, "the obedient void that waits on God."

God's in the business of speaking into darkness and making everything out of nothing. Sometimes His Word creates the unbelievable "Yes!" for our hopeless dreams, sometimes not. But Christ Himself, the Word, is always there, and He is more than enough.

In Jamie's case, God spoke and Rick awakened. For one year, he lived a great quality of life, without scientific explanation, an outspoken witness for our Lord, and then God took him home.

Dear Father,
Speak into my void.

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