I was planning on whisking forward past the next verse to the "And God said" section where he speaks everything into being. But I tripped up over verse 2: "the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters". You can almost hear a low rumble and feel the exhilarating change in pressure that comes before a storm. There is powerful potential here. There will be the first blinding flash of light in the next verse but now there is darkness. No life. No shape. No beauty. But the Spirit of God is hovering, or as other translations put it "moving" or even "brooding".
What really matters is not what things look like, or what is there now but whether the Spirit of God is there. As Jesus' body lay in the grave, still and lifeless in the dark, the Spirit of God must have been hovering (Roman 8:11) because suddenly light burst in as the stone rolled away and Jesus rises to his feet. That same power is at work in us! That same Spirit is brooding over us. Over our church, our city, our nation. It doesn't matter how dark it looks or how bleak your situation is, the key question is this : is the Spirit of God hovering? If he is, then the potential is not only life changing, it's world changing.
On one occasion, just before a paralysed guy gets lowered down through the roof we read "the power of the Lord was present for [Jesus] to heal the sick." Luke 5:17 God's Sprit was hovering again and so a few verses later the paralyzed man gets up, rolls up his mat and walks away, forgiven and healed.
Images of God's spirit fill the pages of the OT, water (Isaiah 44:3), fire and clouds (Exodus 13-21-22) and wind (Isaiah 32:15) signifying his powerful presence but the Spirit is going to be poured out in an unprecedented deluge first on Jesus (John 3:22) and then to his church (Acts 2). The Spirit of God is always present with us and in us but He is not ours to control as if we are in the cockpit of a JCB. What is God doing? I need to keep in step with the Spirit. Learn to discern what He is doing as I walk into different situations and contexts. I am so struck by people like Kathryn Kulman who were so reliant on the presence of the Holy Spirit in their ministry.
We had our church prayer meeting recently and at times there was a tangible feeling of God's Spirit hovering over us as we worshiped. I think we will sense that more and more.