In Genesis 1:2, the Spirit of God is hovering over the waters. The very first reference to the third person of God is that of a protective kind of nurturing and surveillance. In fact, commentators talk about how the same Hebrew word, hovering, is used also in the book of Deuteronomy 32:11. There, it speaks of an eagle hovering over its young ready to act, protect, and nurture them.
From all the first impressions powerfully at his fingertips, God chose to introduce His Spirit moving in a way that is innately divine and humanely uncharacteristic. Humans don’t hover. And even if we did, our hovering wouldn’t be nearly as gently powerful as that of God’s. He alone knows how to hover best! He moves in uncharted ways, over immensities unknown to men, with wisdom that surpasses any of our understanding. Gently protective like an eagle, not forcefully intruding like a predator. Ready to intervene, not chokingly smothering. Nurturing growth from within, not scrutinizing mistakes from afar. He remains patient, close, present, steadfast, loving, good, intimate, wise, involved, protective, powerful, gentle, constant.
I heard the flapping of my Savior’s wings in the depths of my many storms. He is not terrified of broken depths and trembling surfaces. Shattered human hearts, lifeless patches in the road, and deformed nights won’t keep the Spirit away from any of God’s redeemed children. God was not terrified of the vast nothingness in the beginning; He will not be terrified of the depths of pain in our present life. There is no crevice or season that is too dark for God’s penetrating eyes, or too deformed for His transformative power. No amount of barrenness and emptiness can put off the hovering of God’s Spirit in our living.
I trust his hovering over me. In fact, I need him hovering still. I need him today, as a mature Christian, just as desperately as I needed him as a child in faith. I crave his loving watch over me, now that my soul is healing slowly after great pain and loss. I plead for his hovering over my mothering, now that my children are older. I welcome his hovering over my relationships, spaces, seasons, hopes, past healings, present fears, future dreams. The depths of me are changing when He surveys me. Truth is, no one hovers better than God!
I read Genesis 1:2 and I am moved to worship. This intimate introduction to a hovering God who seeks to act and nurture barren, unformed places should awaken every cell of our being to adore Him. God’s hovering produces eternal changes. No shade of darkness, no shape of deformity, no degree of emptiness can ever thwart God’s love for us in Jesus Christ. His hovering is fruitful and abounding for those who find shelter under His breath.
Beyond the majestic descriptions of the many births and beginnings in Genesis, I am nurtured into the glorious power of a saving God who chooses to hover still over the hideous and barren spaces of human hearts–not the least of which, my own.