Musings above and beyond
by Sharon Robertson, Lt. Colonel –
I don’t doubt God—but sometimes I don’t understand him, either. Sometimes? Better make that most of the time—or maybe—pretty much always. Just about the time I think I’ve got a comfortable hold on him—who he is, what he is like—I find him exploding out of my mental grasp, so far beyond my ken that my faith seems the only tangible link between us.
There are those who would say that faith itself is intangible. I don’t buy that. Doesn’t the Bible tell us that faith “is the substance of things hoped for” (Hebrews 11:1, AV)? I believe that faith is the pair of eyeglasses for the mind, for the soul. It is faith that corrects the spiritual myopia that keeps us from seeing God for who he is. It is faith that tells me that though I cannot hold God in my hand, he holds me safely in his.
Recently I bought National Geographic’s newly published book, Hubble Image Space and Time. What an incredible step into time and space! I thought I knew who God is; my mind was comfortable with a God who created galaxies 160,000,000 light years away (that was the edge of the universe according to one astronomer writing in the late fifties), but now he is the God who created and governs a universe that extends 180,000,000,000 light years and beyond! The images of his handiwork leave me breathless, beyond awe. This God we serve is not “big.” To think of him as “big” is to limit him in time and space. There are no terms in human language capable of describing him. He is beyond the wildest imagining of the science fiction writer, beyond the measure of the astronomer, the physicist. Even the beauty of his creation is a beauty that exists far beyond what you and I will ever see (at least, in our earthly existence).
I think I knew all of that, but this virtual step into space has deeply impressed me, and caused me to re-examine my spiritual assumptions. I knew that God loved me, but I am newly awed by the love that searches me out, an insignificant speck of humanity on one of the billions of planets in a universe so stunningly immense. And, lest I am too set up in my own conceit at the thought of how this great God values me, I am newly reminded that he is also mindful of the fall of one of the sparrows fluttering at the feeder outside my window. A sparrow—and he notices!
I knew that he loved me enough to sacrifice his Son to save me. But how could an Almighty God do such a thing? What kind of love sacrifices itself to save an insignificant bit of life? “What is man, that you are mindful of him, or the son of man, that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4 NIV).
Yet he does. He chose us as the object of his intense love; he honors us with the glory of his presence. He, the Almighty, places his confidence in us, entrusting to us the accomplishing of his purposes. He empowers us, and rejoices in our successes; he draws us to him, and comforts us in our failures. This God who governs the rapidly expanding borders of the universe has chosen to experience our humanity, our joys and sorrows, our pain, our worries, our strengths and our frailties—not only experiencing these for himself through his incarnation, but also by actually entering into our lives, creating within us a holy temple fit for his dwelling place.
No, I honestly don’t understand God. But I trust him. I trust him completely. I trust him with my past—to take my well-intentioned errors and many failures and well as any successes he has given me, and use them for the accomplishment of his purposes. I trust him with my today—to walk with me moment-by-moment, step-by-step, and help me make the choices that honor him. I trust him with my future—and pray that I will have the wisdom to trust in the Lord with all my heart, to acknowledge him in all my ways, and to allow him to direct my paths (Proverbs 3:5,6).