Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)
TITLE: How Big is God?
By Mike Delorenzo
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I moved closer to him on the bed and tried to think like a five-year-old. What innocent distress could he be feeling as he lie there clad in Spiderman pajamas, contemplating God?
I opened my hand and spread my fingers far apart. "The Bible says," I explained, "that God could measure the whole universe with his hand." I showed him how the space between my pinky finger and thumb would mark off one "breadth." I held it up to the busy night sky out his window, closed an eye and marked off a couple. He raised his arm and outstretched fingers as I did, winked awkwardly and had a revelation. God was certainly much bigger than a man. Much bigger than him.
His anxiety shifted. If God is so much bigger than the night, perhaps I should be afraid of him instead? The thought was rendered child-like on his face, and followed up in a barrage of questions about God's goodness. I answered them patiently as I remembered the verses from Isaiah chapter forty where our Creator is measuring the heavens and mountains and seas, and blowing on people who then wither like grass.
My little boy was rightly concerned, and his fear, not entirely misplaced. God's greatness is meant to be awe-inspiring to us, his creatures. Our reverence is part of what the scriptures call "the fear of the Lord" and the place where wisdom begins. It can be an uncomfortable feeling to meditate on this aspect of the character of God. Many people feel displaced simply being around a celebrity or a statesman - people God declares are "nothing" in the book of Isaiah, "like grass." How much more should God's presence make us tremble?
But God's greatness is only part of who He is. This, of course, we know simply because we are alive. But a little boy looking head-on into the infinite for the first time needs to have that reassurance. Some grown-ups could use a reminder too. Isaiah chapter forty is a proclamation of the awesome power of God. It is the portion of the Bible I remembered first when I thought to explain how "big" God is to my son. And tucked within that passage of the grand and glorious is a verse about a tender heart - God's heart. "He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those who have young." (Is 40:11 NIV)
As my boy lay in bed, eyes awestruck at the heavens, he clutched a stuffed bear in his arms and nuzzled it close to his face. In the scene I saw both the greatness and goodness of God portrayed. As a stuffed toy in the arms of a five-year-old, so are we in the hands and heart of an awesome God. He holds us close and tenderly, and our fears subside.
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