What do you weigh? How tall are you? How long have you worked here?
"Measure up" seems to be one of mankind's main mottoes.
From a toddler's "I'm this many," as she holds up two fingers, to a mathematician's "pi equals 3.141592653589793238462643383...," we have a mania for measuring things.
So we earnestly eye our rulers, yardsticks, thermometers, barometers, speedometers, metronomes, rain gauges and gas gauges, timepieces, scales and scoops.
We talk of inches, feet, yards, miles, meters and liters, seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years. We reference radii, diameter, circumference, teaspoons and tablespoons, ounces, cups, pints, quarts, gallons, pounds, and acres. Some intelligent few even mention rods, spans, furlongs, parsecs and light-years, volume, and bushels.
Many of us can rattle off our personal numbers: height and weight; collar, shoe and ring sizes, blood pressure and cholesterol, daily calories and carbs, bust or chest size, bank balance, yearly salary or wages. We are measured "within an inch of our lives."
Numbers and more numbers--"to infinity and beyond"! There's no end in sight!
Progress in school is rated by grades, scholarships, graduations. Job success is noted with promotions, praise, and raises. We meticulously mark other milestones such as births, weddings, anniversaries.
We measure things when we cook, sew, plant, build, and play the piano. We even measure weather and other acts of nature--rain and snowfall, temperature and wind chill, a tornado's destructiveness, an earthquake's strength, how many sunny days we have in a row. We live in a compulsive counter's and a measuring maniac's paradise!
Even the Apostle John recounts in Revelation how while in vision he "was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, 'Go measure the temple of God and the altar, and count the worshipers there." Later he tells us, "The angel who talked with me had a measuring rod of gold to measure the city, its gates and its wall...He measured the city with the rod and found it to be 12,000 stadia in length, and as wide and high as it is long. He measured its wall and it was 144 cubits thick..."
Ignorant people try to measure their worth in the world by the letters and titles attached to their name, by the dollar amount of their investments and bank accounts, and by the accolades and honors they receive from others.
Sadly, some of us even try to evaluate our spirituality by how many Scripture verses we've memorized, weeks we've attended church, times we've tithed, Bible books studied, or daily devotionals read.
But wait! STOP! Put down the plumb line, the T-square, and the scales.
What about the things that can't be measured? What do we do with them?
Isaiah asks, "Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand, or with the breadth of his hand marked off the heavens? Who has held the dust of the earth in a basket, or weighed the mountains on the scales and the hills in a balance?"
God Himself questions Job: "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me if you understand, who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?...Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb...when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place , when I said, "This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt:...Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth? Tell Me if you know all this."
Consider the Universe's vastness, a parent's immense love for a child, the incredible value of a single soul, the "ripple effect" of an act of kindness, the forbidding Great Abyss of Revelation, our deep joy in a loved one's salvation, Creation's astounding beauty, the terrible extent of evil, God's limitless love and mercy, the pain of loss, eternity's "everlastingness," and the very Being of God.
How can we definitively tell when we are "filled to the measure of all the fullness of God" or when we have attained "to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ"? Where is the mark showing we are filled to the brim with Him?
I have concluded with the Psalmist that my answer before God will be, "My mouth will tell of Your righteousness, of Your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure. I will come and proclaim Your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord; I will proclaim Your righteousness, Yours alone."
Scripture texts in order: Revelation 11:1, 21:15-17; Isaiah 40:12; Job 38:4,5,8,10,11; Ephesians 3:19, 4:13; Psalm 71:15,16
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