By Justin Rossow
As a nation of shepherds and farmers, the ancient Israelites preferred solid ground beneath their feet. The dark, churning waters of a storm-tossed sea took root in the Hebrew imagination as a symbol for all things chaotic, unreliable, powerful, and scary. You can’t trust the sea. The sea has no order. Chaos is a monster too powerful to control.
God’s view of chaos (and of monsters) is very different. The LORD rules over chaos as well as order. God rides the tempest and frolics with sea monsters. The Spirit hovers playfully over primal chaos and delights in the variety of sea creatures as well as in the order of the land. Filled with the Spirit, Jesus walks the deep as calmly as the shore and calls the wind and waves to heel. Chaos, like order, serves and obeys its maker.
Maybe Chaos and Order aren’t two opposing forces, like Good and Evil, but complementary tools in the hands of the Creator Spirit. Doesn’t true creativity have an element of both chaos and order? If you’ve ever known a creative artist, you could probably tell by their work-space or studio that chaos plays an important role in the creative act. But ask any artist who produces regular, quality work and they will also talk about the need for structure and rhythm and schedule and order. Chaos and order both serve creativity.
The next time your life feels chaotic and scary and out of control, take a deep breath. Invoke the Spirit who hovers over chaos. Don’t pray for the chaos to simply go away; instead, ask the Spirit of Creation and New Creation to harness order and chaos at the same time, and use those tools to make something beautiful and useful out of your life.
Come, Creator Spirit! Rule the chaos and the order of our lives, to your glory! Amen.
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.
Genesis 1:2 (ESV)
Come, Holy Spirit, creator of all things!
Take in hand the chaos of my hectic week
and order my days after the Father’s will.
Hover over today’s needs and desires;
be present in my thinking, feeling, and speaking.
Bring peace to my turmoil, trust to my uncertainty,
energy to my work, and inspiration to my routine.
Use your creative power to harness both the chaos
and the order of my life. Then craft the beautiful life
of Jesus in me. Amen.
Hymn Verse Prayer
Veni, Creator Spiritus,
mentes tuorum visita,
imple superna gratia,
quae tu creasti, pectora.
Come, Holy Ghost, Creator blest,
And make our hearts Your place of rest;
Come with Your grace and heav’nly aid
And fill the hearts which You have made.
Editor’s Note: This devotion comes from Day 4 of Come, Holy Spirit: A Daily Discipleship Travel Log for Easter to Pentecost by Justin Rossow, available from Next Step Press.