How Big is God?
“How big is God and why can’t I see Him?” said the four year old boy as a form of greeting to me on the morning I was helping in Children’s Ministry. I’m not opposed to the usual style of greetings: “Look at my new Spidey shoes”, or “Watch how this dress twirls”, or “My mommy said a bad word”, but I happen to live for that first kind of question.
Fortunately, I have two equally inquisitive daughters of my own, and so I had a bit of a script already prepared. On that Sunday morning, I got to share with the boy as much as his thirteen-second attention span could gobble up. But as with most of us, the boy went away unimpressed—dissatisfied.
The longer version of that response is something I get to share occasionally with my girls at bedtime. After the jammies, and the teeth brushing, and the new glass of water, and the library book and the short Bible story, and the back scratch, and the prayer, and the song, and all is finally spent; one final request comes.
Sometimes, this question comes out of sheer desire to avoid having to go to sleep, and sometimes they’ll ask out of genuine curiosity. “How big is God and why can’t I see Him?” And because it’s their only hope for staying up, they sit still for the answer, which on any given night, goes something like this:
“We can’t see all of God, because He’s too big to see all of, but we can see parts of Him.
He is in the warmth in sunshine, the sparkle in the stars, the strength of the tallest tree, and the water that makes you clean.
He is the sadness when you’re hurt, and the comfort that makes you feel better.
He’s farther away than the moon, and closer than your thoughts.
He’s the breath in your chest and the beat of your heart.
He’s the kindness of a friend, the silliness of your whole entire family, and your good feeling when you try hard.
He’s in the teachings of your mama, the provisions of your papa, the food that helps you grow, and the work that makes you stronger.
He is the sleep that gives you rest, and the sweetness of this bedtime kiss…”.
Sometimes, on a good day, after they’ve listened long enough, they’ll drift off to sleep. And sometimes, on a bad day, after the girls are asleep, I lie down and keep going:
“He is bigger than my most important thing.
He is bigger than disappointment, and shame, and bigger than whatever I am against.
He is bigger than the distance between here and perfection.
He is bigger than my preferences, and my prejudices, and my personality.
He is bigger than aloneness and indifference and ignorance.
He’s bigger than my debt. He’s bigger than what I’m asking for.
He is bigger than all of the sin and all of the sadness in all of the world, put together.
He is in my joy, and my peace. He is in my willingness. He is in my grief over injustice. He is in my anguish as I encounter loss.
He is triumphant, and He is the waiting that brings us all there.
He is big enough to keep us from our biggest fears, and big enough to destroy our fears. He is big enough to sustain us as we endure our fears, and big enough to resurrect us after being ruined by our fears.
Tomorrow, He will be the hope that gets me up, the invitation that compels me to Him, and the task that comes next…”.