I Sometimes Make God Too Small

Sometimes my God is small. He’s not actually small, of course. I just treat Him that way.

I lean into certain aspects of God’s character more than others. His love and grace are my favorites. I can lie on my bed and chat with Him about the deepest aspects of my heart. And when I do? I don’t have to be formal, I can call Him Daddy and I can stumble over words and I can fall into His arms.

I adore that He has opened Himself up to have this kind of relationship with people.

But sometimes I forget that this is not ALL of who God is. I forget about God’s Majesty. His Authority. His I-Can’t-Even-Fathom-Vastness.

I forget that if I were actually in the same room with the fullness of God’s presence I would stop breathing. My knees would buckle, my eyes would stream tears, and my face would hit the ground as I bowed in adoration.

I forget about the amazing time Moses got so bold that he asked to see God’s glory. And that God only granted that request in part. Only with Moses hiding in the cleft of a rock. Only with the Lord covering Moses with His Hand. Only with this interaction showing Moses only God’s back.

Because God’s face? The fullness of His glory? It is so overwhelmingly beautiful and amazing and holy and magnificent that we cannot see it and live.

And though I fight this truth sometimes, though I can remember the times God has seemed to hold me as if He was small and in the room, and though I have this relationship with Him as if He is my friend, the truth of God’s tangible closeness does not override the truth of His overwhelming greatness.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.

Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.

They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.

Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty— he is the King of glory. – Psalm 24

The Lord is the King of Glory. Everything magnificent and brilliant and amazing and glorious and wonderful and grand that is in this world is under His authority. They were created from His imagination. They are glimpses into His breathtaking splendor.

The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it. He is the King of Glory.

And really, doesn’t the truth of this glory make His closeness even more amazing? To know that the Creator of all this, the Source of all things that stop us in our tracks and bring tears to our eyes… this is the God who wraps us in His arms of love.

What could be more glorious than that?

Walk through the Psalms is a series reflecting on the beautiful and timeless poetry found in the middle of the Bible. It is an intentional study of God’s Word, grounded in the belief that God gave us the Bible so we could meditate on it, whether that takes us through inspiring or frustrating territory.

How Majestic is Your Name

It’s easy for me to move through my day unaware of God. My computer, my comforts, my to-do list, my television, all these can drown Him out. I effortlessly slip into a state of functional atheism. I profess a belief in God, but live as if He is not here.

This changes when I get outside. Nature pulls me in, looks me in the eyes, and speaks to me the words of Psalm 8.

LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! – Psalm 8:1

The sun shouts, the flowers whisper, and the trees proclaim, “There is a Creator. We are fashioned from His imagination and held together in His Hand.”

As nature speaks to me, my blinders fall off, and I can see. I marvel at the skills of a remarkable God.

God made the sun. Made it. The thing we cannot even stare at with the naked eye, God brought forth out of nothing. Powerful does not seem a strong enough adjective for our God.

And then I pause, with Psalm 8, to marvel again.

For, the same God who made the sun also made us. Humans. You and me.

When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? – Psalm 8:3-4

It is easy for me to consider myself the center of the universe. Until I actually ponder the universe. Then I realize how tiny my life really is.

Yet, God doesn’t just notice me. He didn’t just create me and move on.

He is mindful of me. Even more, He cares for me.

And this, I think, is one of the most majestic attributes of God. That He can simultaneously hold together the big, while caring for the little. He notices the tear in my eye as clearly as the sun in the sky. And the same hand that crafted the oceans wipes the water from my cheek.

LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! –Psalm 8:9

I'm excited to be Walking through the Psalms again now that Lent is over. I'm especially glad to be coming back into it with a topic like creation. Click on the picture to the left to read reflections on Psalms 1-7. Come back next week to read a reflection on Psalm 9.