Recalling familiar words:
A few weeks ago, I visited a church I’d never been to before. For the offertory a little girl played a song on the piano. She had chosen a simple children’s chorus that I hadn’t heard in years: “My God is so big.” It made me smile with recognition, but then I found myself struck by the clarity and strength of the words as I recalled them. I thought how there are these simple truths that we teach children – and then somewhere along the road we move away from them, until the day comes when we find we are nowhere near where we started.
The words to the song the girl was playing are these: “My God is so big, so strong and so mighty – there’s nothing my God cannot do. The mountains are his. The valleys are his. The stars are his handiwork too. My God is so big, so strong and so mighty – there’s nothing my God cannot do.”
God is all powerful. He is the Creator, the Sustainer, and nothing is beyond him. The earth and all that’s in it belong to God and exist within his providential care. With him, all things are possible.
More than we ask or imagine
There is a blessing that is used in some seasons at my church that says, “Glory be to God, whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we ask or imagine.” Those words really struck me the first time I said them, but I say them easily now without really thinking about what they mean. They mean that my God is big; bigger even than my hopes and prayers. But truth be told, my hopes and prayers have been shrinking for years. I’ve grown up, I’ve faced disappointment, and I’ve learned to manage my expectations. That is, I’ve stopped expecting miracles. But my God is still big.
And so I find myself wondering what else I may have forgotten while the years were passing. He’s got the whole world in his hands. There’s a good one. It reminds me that he is in control. And, of course, Jesus loves me. What could be more relevant at any age?
Blessed are the pure in heart
Sometimes I run into intellectual Christians who speak with contempt of their simpler sibling-believers; churches that sing catchy repetitive choruses, and sermons that are heavily application-focussed. But what they miss is that these simple things are sometimes able to connect with our hearts in a way that doesn’t happen when we are analyzing textual criticism or savouring beautiful language that has been out of popular use for centuries.
Scholarship is good and necessary. Beauty and excellence are of great value. But simple truth that touches the heart is the catalyst that can transform us into new creations. And isn’t that the point of all this?
God, give me the grace to remember the lessons learned in childhood, and to always be drawn back to that place of simplicity where you can cut through the complexities that I have constructed, and touch my heart with purity and truth. Help me to remember that you are truly able to do infinitely more than I can ask or imagine. Amen.