Coping with Chaos

And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.”—Genesis 1:2b (NLT)

Chaos. It’s rarely a word we want to hear associated with any part of our life or world. No one wants to admit when his or her home life is chaotic. I can’t think of many people who want to work in a chaotic work environment. And I don’t imagine there are many folks who enjoy emotional or spiritual chaos. 

Today’s section of Genesis 1:2 speaks to me on so many levels about who God is. Yesterday, we learned that the “earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters” (Genesis 1:2a NLT). The word for empty (ṯō·hū) speaks of desolation, wildness and confusion. It describes a formless, chaotic nothingness. Again, it’s not how I would want my life to be described. But this is how the world was: nonfunctional; a primordial, watery darkness that was ripe for transformation. And that’s where we pick it up in the second part of the verse, which tells us, “And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.” 

Now, I want to share with you what “the Spirit of God” conveyed to the Israelite audience for whom this was originally written. Many scholars interpret it as something akin to the breath or hand of God, an extension of His power and authority. It reminds me of what Job said in Job 12:10 (HCSB): “The life of every living thing is in His hand, as well as the breath of all mankind.” 

The picture painted in this verse is of the Spirit circulating over the water like a mother bird protectively circling over her nest. What a beautiful picture of our lives, isn’t it? Because whether we want to admit it or not, whether we like it or not, our lives are chaotic. This world is chaotic. It’s full of confusion, darkness, desolation, and emptiness. It can throw your whole life into disarray in a matter of seconds. But guess what, Christ-follower? The Spirit of God—that glorious hand that holds the universe together—is reaching out amidst the chaos, His power and authority at our disposal. 

I’m not sure where you find yourself today. Maybe your life is in full chaos mode, or maybe you feel like things are pretty calm. Wherever you are, never forget that that the life-giving Spirit of the Lord Almighty is not only hovering over the chaos of your life, He is living within you. He is breathing the Word of life into you, empowering you for His great work, and equipping you with the gifts of the Spirit. 

DIG: Do an Old Testament study on the Spirit of God.

DISCOVER: How do you usually deal with chaos? 

DO: Ask the Lord to give you a fresh filling of His Spirit and to empower you to accomplish the work He has called you to.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.