This morning’s devotion was written by K. Marc Choi.

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 called the light “day”, and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5, NIV)

“Formless and empty.” These are the two words that the writer of Genesis uses to describe the world, pre-creation. They are frightening words. Enter God the Creator. He brings shape and substance to the void. He creates something where there was nothing.

“Formless and empty.” None of us would want these words said about our apartment. We certainly wouldn’t choose these words for our epitaph. Sometimes, though, it is exactly how life feels. Emptiness often feels like the default setting, so much so that we search for things to create to give us shape and meaning: careers, relationships, money, children, good health. We come to realize in this passage that true shape and meaning are things only God can provide.

Our pursuits, the means of meaning, amplify the feelings of emptiness, hurting us and those around us. We know this from experience, religious or otherwise. Doing a good job becomes workaholism. Taking care of ourselves becomes vanity. Getting involved in good causes becomes self-righteousness. The list goes on, and no amount of self-esteem or positive thinking can help us. As Ted Boynton says in the movie Barcelona, “Positive thinking is fine in theory. But whenever I try it on a systematic basis… I end up really depressed.”

This is the Gospel, the love of Christ found even in the creation of the world: that God brings us back to the place where our formlessness and meaningless is overcome. How do we know this? The most dramatic evidence is Jesus Christ, God made human. In Jesus, God comes to us even though it means death at our hands. And he overcomes death, the moment when life becomes formless and empty. He shows us his love has the power to recreate.

Have you felt formless and empty? Have you wondered if God loves you? Have you wondered if God could exist amidst all this suffering and chaos?

Be reminded, God is pursuing you with a love that conquers all chaos, formlessness and meaninglessness. His pursuit is not dependent on what you do or fail to do. His pursuit is based in unfettered love. Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection tell us that God’s love for us is real and that He has done all the work. He is faithful to us even when our lives seem to say otherwise.