"What He ordains for us each moment is what is most holy, best, and most divine for us." Jean-Pierre de Caussade

Monday, September 11, 2017

Irma: Brooding Above the Waters

As I sit here writing this, tropical storm Irma is blowing herself through. I’ve situated myself away from my normal writing space as there’s a tall sentinel of a pine standing watch just outside those sunroom windows. But there’s a view here in my music room and I still watch the to and fro of the smaller trees in the front yard and the larger ones in my neighbor’s giving way to the once hurricane force winds. I’m grateful for this seat.

As everyone else here in the southeastern part of the country, I too have been watching the approach of this storm for days now as it has broken all kinds of records. The size alone has given it its place in history. Maybe that is what has intrigued me the most. Its immensity. No doubt, even its advent yesterday as I took in with my eye the layer upon layer of clouds brought such feelings of majesty and awe. But as I have watched it make its way across the waters onto land, there is one word that has lodged itself in me.


So instead of seeing this mass of destruction, I began watching a move of God Himself as I recalled Genesis 1:2 — “God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss” (MSG).


My dictionary reads:

“To sit upon to hatch, as a bird; incubate.”

“To warm, protect, or cover with the wings or body.”

“To cover, loom, or seem to fill the atmosphere or scene.”

Strong’s definitions for this word in Genesis 1:2 is “to brood; by implication, to be relaxed: — flutter, move, shake.” 

Wow, “to be relaxed” is definitely not the image provided by the weather outside my window at this moment or that which has swept across Florida in these overnight hours. But it does fit the brooding definition above.

As I think about that verse in Genesis again, I try to imagine what that first brooding looked like. Did the Spirit indeed take the form of a storm, maybe an Irma or a Harvey, as He swept over the face of the waters — brooding? Did He move methodically, following a directional path? Did the waters become turbulent or respond in peace? However it happened or played out, I imagine it to have been of “historical proportions.” After all, the very next verse reads, “THEN God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.” The Great Community joining in the dance of creation. Life. Talk about history being made.

And so these last days, I have been thanking God for the seeming storms in my life. And for the new things He is doing — in me, through me, for me, as well as in, through and for my people. That His Spirit is brooding, incubating, hatching.

Yes, it looks like a storm. But the point remains: I know that His Spirit IS moving. He’s still brooding. He still warms and protects and covers. He continues to fill the atmosphere and birth new things. Sometimes it just looks like a hurricane. The rains come and the winds rage. Things flutter, move and shake. But above it all, there is God who remains steady and sure. And who calls forth light and life.

Be watchful.

Just an ordinary moment….