He wears big shoes

Micah 1:3-4 Look! The LORD is coming from his dwelling place; he comes down and treads the high places of the earth. The mountains melt beneath him and the valleys split apart, like wax before the fire, like water rushing down a slope.

Last summer, I was at a waterpark with my family.  My 3-year-old wanted to play in the sand section because she wasn’t real fond of the slides and such.  So I headed over to the toddler zone and we began to build.  In all of our creativity, we decided we should build a mountain.  There wasn’t much to it except pouring bucket after bucket of sand on our spot and watching it get bigger.  We started with a little hill and as we went, it grew.  We had an awesome mountain until we went to get some water to pour on it.  I looked back to see another child heading straight toward our mountain.  He proceeded to jump on it, flattening half of it with a single step.  Mountain big, kid bigger.  And there went the mountain.

Imagine now with me a real mountain.  You could pick Mount Rainier or Mount Everest – it doesn’t matter really.  People climb those mountains, tiny specks amidst an enormous object of nature. But God could step on it and crush it as fast as that kid and our work of sand.  Mountain big, God bigger.  Since we can’t see God and we know Jesus was the size of a Hebrew man, we may not imagine God with that large of a footprint.  But the truth is, He wears some pretty big shoes.  With a single step, He could flatten Mount Rainier.  With a simple jump, Mount Everest would be squashed into the ground.  He’s just that huge.

It’s miraculous to me that the same God who wears big shoes and holds the whole universe in His hands would care to know tiny little me.  It’s humbling to know that this mountain crushing God used His power to crush the evil one and rescue me. He used His might not against me, but for me.  So today I stand in awe of a God who can melt mountains and split valleys.  I marvel at His greatness, His power, and His might.  And I wonder why I ever get afraid when the obstacles of life seem too big to face.  He’s bigger.  He’s stronger.  He’s my God.

Becoming Found

Hosea 12:6 But you must return to your God. Maintain love and justice, and always put your hope in God.

Have you ever been lost? Maybe you’ve wandered away from the group or tried taking a shortcut only to find yourself disoriented.  Or maybe you just got tired of walking and wandered off to take a nap.  Could it be that you read the map wrong and found yourself where you didn’t plan to be?  It’s likely that one of those things has happened to all of us.  Getting lost is no fun.  It’s bewildering and scary.  It’s frustrating and trying.

Losing track of God feels the same way.  For a while we might feel like the shortcut was going to be the best route.  Or we just weren’t “feeling it” anymore so we took a break from the walk.  “But you must return to your God!”  How do you do that?  I find that when I’m lost, the best thing to do is go back to the last place I was found.  Usually I can get there.  And I find that the same goes with God.  When I’ve wandered and want to find Him again, I just go back to the last place I was found.  And you know what, He always meets me there. He’s a good Father that way.

So if you feel lost today, get back on the path.  Hosea 12:6 says that you can always put your hope in God.  He will be there to lead you once again.  He will be standing there ready to take your hand and walk with you down the path of life.  So return to Him.  Take a good look at the places you are lost and become found.

Defining God

Hosea 11:8-9 How can I give you up, Ephraim? How can I surrender you, Israel? How can I make you like Admah? How can I treat you like Zeboiim? I have had a change of heart; My compassion is stirred! I will not vent the full fury of My anger; I will not turn back to destroy Ephraim. For I am God and not man, the Holy One among you; I will not come in rage.

Sometimes you run across a statement so profound it will change your life.  Or maybe it will change the way you see the world.  These statements can be quotes from famous people, or maybe they are just ordinary people saying famous things.  Nonetheless, we will repeat them, share them with our friends, and even using them as an opening line in a social setting.  That way we will sound really smart.  Regardless, it is often in the simple profundity (is that a word?) that we find meaning.

I found a statement like that today, but it wasn’t by a celebrity – it was by God.  He said in Hosea 11:9, “I am God and not man.”  Pause.  Think.  Reflect.

Why did that have to be said.  Of course He is God and not man.  It’s because humanity tries to force Him into our box of human limitations.  We think He needs to make rational sense.  We believe that He is a vending machine where if we put in the right amount of money and push the right button, we’ll get the right candy bar.  We’ve reduced Him to formulas, traditions, religions, and even our experiences.  If our father was abusive, He must be too.  If only our mom went to church, Jesus is for sissies.  If something tragic happened to a good person, God is cruel.  It’s a frame of reference we see Him in, but it’s an erroneous one.

It’s a mistake to view God through our lens when we can’t even see ourselves through His.  We don’t get to define God, friends.  He defines us.  He is God and not man.  He doesn’t think like we do nor does He act like it.  God defines God, plain and simple.  So when we “expect” Him to conform to our thinking, we’ve got a problem.  He’s asked us to conform to His.  When we want Him to wipe out the bad guys, He’s unexpected moved and shows compassion.  And for some reason, this makes us angry – until we remember that without Him, we’re a bad guy too.

This is what I love most about God, that He is, well… other.  I love that I don’t always understand Him.  I love that there is mystery in who He is.  I love that He is way more powerful than I will ever comprehend.  And I love that when I am feeling down, the author of life breathes into me.  I LOVE that He is not a man!  He is God and I refuse to define Him with my own life experience.  I refuse to define Him with my hurts or my anger.  I refuse to define Him with my political views or my take on human suffering.  I refuse to tell Him who He is based on my limited ability to comprehend the meaning of life.  Rather I surrender to His “otherness” and allow Him to shape all that I am.  For me, He must be God and I must be man.  Our relationship won’t work any other way.

That freaked me out

Daniel 7:28 “This is the end of the interpretation. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts terrified me greatly, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.” 

For context on today’s entry, you really should read the entire chapter of Daniel 7.  It is a vision that God gave Daniel regarding the end times.  There were crazy looking beasts, the Lord on the throne, fire, talking horns, and all kinds of other crazy stuff.  Thankfully, Daniel had the guts to ask the Lord the meaning of this vision.  Otherwise, we would still be speculating today.  It was a lot to handle, a lot to see.  And Daniel ends his recount of it by saying, “that freaked me out.”

Do the things of God ever freak you out?  If so, you are not alone.  You see, God is extremely “other.”  That’s really the best way I can put it.  He is not a human with a human brain – he made the human and the human brain.  And He is not entirely known by us.  He is in many ways a mystery: unseen and untouchable.  If our life is a bucket of water, He is the ocean.  He is huge, vast, deep, and exists beyond the horizon.

Not only does His very Being freak us out a little, so do the things He shows us or asks us to do.  He asks us to take steps of faith, to believe in miracles, to seek the power of the Holy Spirit. And it all gets a little freaky as it goes beyond our control.  It gets a little scary when our minds can’t comprehend it.  But that’s our God.  He is my Savior and my Lord.  He is larger than any problem I will ever face.  His grace runs deeper than my sin and His forgiveness is like a well that never runs out.  He is beyond me; He freaks me out.  Yet I throw my whole life into Him and trust Him with everything I’ve got.  Will you do the same today?