- Britton Carter
We Serve a Big God
The universe has always fascinated me. Gazing up at the sky on a cloudless night and seeing a vast expanse of planets, stars, and galaxies fills me with a sense of wonder and amazement. For millennia, people have peered into the observable array of celestial bodies and tried to count the uncountable. Attempts have been made to fix a number to the stars, but every equation, every calculation, proves insufficient. With hundreds of billions of known galaxies, each containing tens of millions of stars, most surrounded by several planets and comets, it is baffling to understand the sheer magnitude of the universe. What is even more baffling is to recognize that God placed it all in the sky to show off His infinite power.
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” (Psalm 19:1 NASB)
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made…” (Romans 1:20)
The astounding vastness removes us from the daily problems of life and reorients our thinking to the unmatchable power of God. All science and human effort seek to peer into the uncharted portions of the universe, but where science is going, God is already there. We look to the sky at our inadequate glimpse into infinity and recognize that the power of God stretches beyond the observable. The God that set limitless galaxies in space is the same God we cry to for help in daily struggles. We face a variety of problems—financial stress, relationship issues, addictions, career choices, health concerns—and we often treat God with skepticism, doubting His ability to adequately handle the mess we bring Him. But the God who formed the planets and stars is more than capable to take our broken lives and make them whole.
The depth of the oceans confounds me. Here on this planet sit hundreds of miles of unexplored oceans, home to mysterious creatures and uncharted features. Despite the fact that practically every inch of land on earth has been mapped and studied, there is still so little we know about the sea. Movies like The Meg capture our attention because of their unlikely, yet possible, proposition that something otherworldly exists beneath the surface. Without specialized suits and vehicles, discovering what lies at the furthest depths is impossible, making deep sea exploration a painstaking and slow exercise. Yet everywhere explorers roam, God is present.
“If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will lay hold of me.” (Psalm 139:9-10)
So often we act as if our struggles and our pain exist outside of God’s control—as if God has no knowledge or jurisdiction over particular areas of difficulty. King David understood that there is nothing outside of God’s reach, nowhere God’s guidance and care cannot invade. In the darkest night, the light of Christ shines through; no darkness can contain Him. No circumstance is too problematic, too difficult, too weighty for God. Nothing we encounter is outside of God’s dominion. The One who knows every creature in every ecosystem at the furthest depths of the ocean knows what you are going through. The One who controls every drop of water that makes up the sea is in control of your situation. Whatever is going on in your life, know that God is right there with you, capable of illuminating a path, and willing to lead you through.
Have you ever considered the beauty of nature? I loved camping in Tennessee, watching a gentle stream flow down the side of a mountain through thick brush and trees, listening to birds sing their melodious tunes, feeling the crisp morning breeze. It all seemed so peaceful. From acres of bluebonnets in a Texas field, to sand dunes stretching for miles in the Sahara, to mountains in Asia that make the Great Smokies seem miniscule, there is intrinsic, undeniable beauty in this planet’s design. The vast array of ecosystems across continents speaks to the creativity of the Designer. The effectiveness of natural processes speaks to His intelligence. The reality of this astounding creation speaks to His power. I cannot, with the fullness of my strength and willpower, convince a single blade of grass to grow, but God created every rock, every plant, every animal, and every person we see.
“Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” (Matthew 6:26)
When we stop to consider the beauty of nature, we begin to recognize God’s gracious hand. Birds find food, flowers receive sunlight, mountains weather storms, and God’s glory and grace are on display. The God who cares enough about grass to send sun and rain cares enough about you to walk you through troubled times. Whenever difficulties arise, our instinct is often to view God as cold and distant, uncaring and unloving. But that picture of God leaves us further stranded in misery. Jesus walked our road, experienced our struggles, endured hardships, encountered difficult decisions—He knows what we go through. God does not minimize our struggles or our pain in light of His infinite knowledge and power; He steps into our troubled times and leads us through. Whether money, relationships, health, or anything else, God cares about you, and is there for you.
God is powerful enough to handle anything we are going through. God is present in our circumstances. And God cares about us, wanting to display His power and reveal His presence in our lives. Do not minimize God. Do not make the mistake of elevating your problems and decisions over the power and authority of God. Like Job, each of us must recognize His power and authority, and reorient our lives around His glory and grace.