I remember the first time I saw the ocean. It was in San Diego. I was seven years old. I stood at the water’s edge and felt small next to the powerful Pacific.
I remember the day my mom dropped me off for college. As an introverted, eighteen-year-old boy from a small town I felt even smaller as mom’s blue Chevrolet Impala station wagon pulled away.
A few years later I was sitting on Preikestolen. It’s the most beautiful place I have ever seen. In Norwegian it translates to Preacher’s Pulpit. It is a small flat surface on top of a cliff that drops 2,000 feet drop to the water below. I felt small as I looked at all the fjords and mountains and water.
Thirteen years ago I don’t ever recall feeling as small as when I held a little baby boy. I’ve held babies before and I have held many since. But this one was different. He was mine. I thought I was ready. I wasn’t.
He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. –John 3:30
Life changes when we realize who God is and experience who God is. And we can only understand and face who we are when we begin to realize and experience who God is.
God is the Creator of the world. God is the Father who loves and accepts us unconditionally. God is the Son who instructs and inspires. He seeks and serves and saves. God is the Holy Spirit who is with us. In the good times and the not-so-good times. God is the giver of things like joy, grace, hope, and peace.
Dependence on God is the only independence. –Soren Kierkegaard
Freedom and independence doesn’t come from various sorts of security or youth or health. All can vanish faster than the sun melts away the morning fog. Freedom comes from God and from God alone. Freedom to live and ultimately freedom to die.
I’ve felt too big too many times. Times when it was more about me than God. Times when I wanted to win more than I wanted to grow. Times I sought to be right rather than to understand.
But God keeps speaking. Natural wonders, challenges, babies, and however else God wants to speak. I’m grateful for every time I have been knocked down because I am always reminded of the One who picked and picks me up. My prayer today is as simple as simple gets:
Lord, make me feel small so I can experience Your greatness. Amen.
The best is yet to come…