Thursday, January 12

the First of 66 Love Letters

I am a lover of books by Dr. Crabb.  Shortly after I was taught in his School of Spiritual Direction Class 33, he came out with the book he wrote called 66 Love Letters.  He refers to each book of the Bible as a Love Letter that God has written to us.  I have given this book to my kids, and bought one for myself, but I will admit, it got mixed in with my "books to read" pile and although I began it, did not get much farther than the opening intro chapter.  SO I decided this is the time to read through the WORD start to finish, and to read through the book start to finish, allowing Dr. Crabb to be my commentary along the way.
Thus I began the other day, with the beginning - GENESIS.  I have read through this before, and often we wonder what we will glean afresh from it, but that is just how God is through the Bible ...  he often "opens the eyes of my heart" and allows me each time to learn something new!

I will admit that the first two verses of Genesis however, always speaks to me!  That morning I read it from THE MESSAGE which is the translation I am going to use with 66 Love Letters.  I love how it is written:

Genesis 1:1-2

The Message (MSG)

 1-2First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

Genesis 1:1-2

New Living Translation (NLT)

 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.[a] 2The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.

In other translations such as NIV and New Living Translation which I use the most, it describes the HOLY SPIRIT as "hovering" .  Hmmm... you see right in the very beginning the Holy Spirit is mentioned as being present!  Hovering.  Brooding.  

Growing up I will admit that I found any mention of the Holy Spirit rather scary.   The Holy Spirit was always referred to in my church as the "Holy Ghost" which when I think of it, would scare any little child!  I can't say that I had much teaching on the Holy Spirit other than I knew the Holy Spirit was one of the three parts of GOD as the Trinity.  (Father ~ Son ~ Holy Spirit)

I became very interested in learning more about the Holy Spirit when I was in my 30's.  I guess part of it was the charismatic movement that was happening in many churches.  I had a couple friends who had an experience with the Holy Spirit and no one could tell me that the change in them was not real as a result!  I know that I put up a wall toward one friend when she talked about this ... after all "those things didn't happen today the way they did in the New Testament days!"  Hmmm.... I am so sorry about that "defence" I put up.  All the time, my interest was piqued more and more.  

I think that was when I began searching Scripture.  I also began asking the Lord for a revelation of himself in my life ... for a strong presence that was tangible.  It was around this time that I heard God speak audibly.  That was an encounter!  And, I found as I hungered and thirsted more after him, the Holy Spirit within me became alive more than I ever knew before.   I started to do more waiting on him... more listening ... and as a result heard him speak more and more often. 

The Holy Spirit hovered.  The Holy Spirit "brooded like a bird above the watery abyss".   The Holy Spirit was there in the beginning just as he lives within me now and will be for eternity.  Hovering.  

I checked some online definitions for both hover and brooding.  And really, the bottom line is that hovering means you are staying in one place, standing over someone or something and watching all that is happening.  Bottom line for brooding is being in serious, deep and persistent thought or meditation on something.

In some cases these words have had a negative connotation as in "quit being a mom who hovers over your children" or when you tell someone to "quit brooding" because we think it isn't a nice thing to do!  But in the case of the Holy Spirit - to me it brings peace and comfort and reassurance that HE IS PRESENT even if we can not see him hover, or brood.

Personally speaking, I struggled with moving ahead in my walk with God because of the fact that I really was not taught about him (limited) in my first 20 years of life (although yes, I knew the HS was a real part of the trinity.  Period)  At one point I wrestled with why did I need to know more.  Why did I want to know more.  Why did I want to experience the HS in a powerful way?  Was this right or wrong?  Was it necessary?)  To me, it was and it is.  Period.  

I am thankful that the Holy Spirit was there hovering and brooding above the waters.  I am thankful that the Holy Spirit is the part of the Trinity that takes up presence within me.  I am thankful that when Jesus left to return to Heaven that He told the disciples to wait for the promised gift - the Holy Spirit to come as comforter!!  Oh Jesus thank you for that promise.  O Holy Spirit, thank you for living within, for your guidance, and for your presence in my life!  Help me never to quench you!  

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth ... and the Spirit of God hovered...

also posted on The Journey on

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