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By Pastor Calvary Callender

A couple had two little boys, ages 8 and 10, who were excessively mischievous. They were always getting into trouble and their parents knew that, if any mischief occurred in their town, their sons were probably involved. The boys' mother heard that a clergyman in town had been successful in disciplining children, so she asked if he would speak with her boys. The clergyman agreed, but asked to see them individually. So the mother sent her 8-year-old first, in the morning, with the older boy to see the clergyman in the afternoon. The clergyman, a huge man with a booming voice, sat the younger boy down and asked him sternly, "Where is God?" The boy's mouth dropped open, but he made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open, wide-eyed. So the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, "Where is God!" Again the boy made no attempt to answer. So the clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy's face and bellowed, "WHERE IS GOD!" The boy screamed and bolted from the room, ran directly home and dove into his closet, slamming the door behind him. When his older brother found him in the closet, he asked, "What happened?" The younger brother, gasping for breath, replied "We are in BIG trouble this time, dude. God is missing - and they think WE did it!"

We are in a time where people are wondering where God is. Did we lose God somewhere? Our society seems to be in chaos. And those who stand for righteousness are called intolerant. It is not God's will that the world, the church, or our personal lives should be chaotic. In fact, God is an orderly God, not a God of confusion.

You might be wondering where I am going with this, so I want to turn to Genesis and the creation story to help tell you what I mean.

 

In Genesis 1.1-5 it says, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day."

Genesis is a book that is under constant scrutiny. From academia, to skeptics, Creation is the opposite of societal teachings. Genesis is a powerful book and I believe the creation story reveals to us the character of God and gives us a peak at how he redeems us.

The first 5 verses of the Bible inform us that God brought Creation out of chaos, and chaos is a word that we - as Americans - understand in a way that we never have understood it before.

In recent history we have discovered what real chaos is. In horror we have witnessed the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City and the chaos that followed. We know what this present darkness can do to teenagers as we've witnessed the images of the school shootings. September 11, 2001, is a date that, to use the words of Franklin Roosevelt, will "live in infamy." The pictures of airplanes deliberately crashing into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon will be etched upon our psyches forever.

And when someone speaks of anthrax, small pox, E. coli, and nuclear warheads...immediately the picture is of the chaos that bio-terrorism and war might bring.

The Hebrew word for formless, tohuw, carries with it a meaning of chaos. So where Genesis 1.2 says the earth was "formless and empty," it is trying to convey a sense of chaos. As I read the story in Genesis, I am taken back with the idea that our God is a God who brings meaning and order out of chaos! The essence of creation confirms this!

All of us, at some time or another have found something about our lives that can be described with words like formless, empty, and dark. And as we go into the world, we come face to face with other people who feel as if these are the words that describe their lives as well. They feel as if there is no hope...that everything is formless and empty, and that darkness covers everything. Have you ever felt as if everything was out of order in your life...like nothing was fitting together properly as it should? Maybe we say things like: "Nothing ever works out right," or "My personal life's a mess," or "My career is in shambles".... "This is not how I planned life to be." There is only one way to have our lives move from the chaotic to the state where there is real peace and real order. We need God's creative power! We must put our lives in His hands, and let Him direct us. God has a plan for all of us, A perfect plan. And he is waiting on us to leave the chaos and join him so he can bring order to our lives.

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