This is the second part in the “He is Worthy” series.
Focusing on God in difficult circumstances by getting a perspective of who God is.
Catch-up on the first part here.
Francis Chan wrote a book called ‘Crazy Love’ where the first three sentences of chapter one read: “What if I said to you ‘stop praying’? What if I told you to stop talking at God for a while, but instead to take a long, hard look at Him before you speak another word? Solomon warned us not to rush into God’s presence with words.” (Ecclesiastes 5:12). We all have different and personal experiences with God, and our circumstances are all different, but this doesn’t mean that God is one thing to one person, and another thing to someone else. “We don’t get to decide who God is. God said to Moses ‘I am who I am’, and we don’t get to change this.” (– Crazy Love, Francis Chan)
As discussed in part 1 of this series, we want to focus on God in difficult circumstances. The idea is to get a perspective of who God is, how great He is, and use that as lens through which to evaluate our significance in the grand scheme of things. For the purpose of this series, I will focus on three aspects of God – God the creator, God’s throne room, and God personified. Today’s post will focus on God the creator.
God the Creator – this is the easiest for me to grasp. At school (many years ago) my science teacher performed an illustration that I would like to replicate. Imagine I have four ping pong balls which represent the earth, our moon, our sun, and the most proximate star to our sun. If I place the earth 1cm away from our moon, then our sun would be a little under 4m away. Assuming this scale, the ping pong ball representing the nearest star to our sun would need to be placed on the Spanish border.
Continuing to use this scale, the length of our galaxy would be similar to the distance from Dusseldorf to New Zealand 1,948 times. To put that another way it would be like flying continuously in a straight line for approximately 3.5 years to cover the distance. Staying on the same scale, you’d have to fly about 94 years to cover the distance between our galaxy and our nearest neighbouring galaxy (Andromeda).
Now I only mentioned two stars within our galaxy, yet these are just two stars of the estimated 250 billion stars in our galaxy. That’s how big our galaxy is. I mentioned two galaxies, yet these are just two galaxies of approximately 2 trillion galaxies in our universe. That’s how big our universe is. That’s how awesome our God is.
In contrast to the universe and He who created it – who am I? Who am I to condition God? Who am I to think this universe revolves around me? Who am I to think that God owes me anything? The amazing thing is that despite our insignificance when compared to all He created, we are significant to God. My definition of Grace is this – ‘undeserved and unearned salvation’, yet when I overlay my insignificance, this only deepens that definition for me. I realise this for me is ‘wow’ – whereas some of you might have already stopped reading (congratulations if you’re still reading this), but I would encourage you to look to God’s creation to see what ‘wows’ you.
In contrast to the universe and He who created it – who am I?
When I was preparing for this, my wife Natalie shared with me a story, which I’m allowed to share with you. The church recently gave out copies of a book called ‘Celebration of Discipline’. One of the disciplines encouraged the reader to look to nature for things that wowed them. Now at this time we were going through a particularly tough time in the realm of parenting, so Natalie took it upon herself to watch a sunrise. So she got up early one morning and walked out into the fields near our house to watch the sunrise. She stopped at a bridge which gave a good vantage point, but she was a little early and there was no sun. What there was, was the noise of the traffic of the motorway under the bridge, the bitter cold in the early morning and an enormously large pile of manure. Not only did it obstruct her view, it invaded her nostrils. So there she was looking to nature to reflect on God’s creation but she was uncomfortable, cold, miserable and there was no sunrise. Disappointed and in tears, she started to walk back home, and then … the sun came up! As she watched the sun rise above the pile of manure, she thought this is what life is like – despite the crap in our lives, God is there, and He is magnificent!
I don’t know what your thing in nature is. For my kids, it’s the diversity of life that God created, and that it all co-exists. Maybe you find it amazing that a penguins have a unique system so that their feet don’t freeze, or that insects don’t breathe through their mouths. The diversity of God’s creation is amazing, and the deeper you look, the more wowed you become. He is glorious, and there is no one like Him!
— Andre G.