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Is God Big Enough?

For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me (Isaiah 46:9b-10).

I was on my way to the Exxon station to get a cup of coffee and realized my God was too small. In the general scheme of life, this is a problem on the large end of the spectrum.

My fairly normal routine is to arrive at the office after my morning bicycle ride, turn the computer on, and make my rounds through the hallways saying hello to the staff. I return to my office, launch Outlook, grab my coffee cup, and exit by the back door for the gas station.

As I walked across the parking lot, I began to consider God’s identity according to the file folder in my office labeled, “God’s Character.” The study was a thorough one and contains numerous qualities, with large words and concepts describing God: omniscient, omnipotent, omnipresent, holy, just, merciful, righteous, King of kings, Lord of lords, magnificent, etc. It is a thick folder! However, in spite of all the pages in the file, God was still not big enough, although I couldn’t articulate why. I just felt it!

In a candid moment of frustration I said out loud, “I have three-quarters of an inch of information about who God is stored in my file cabinet and I still don’t have a concept of His character that is big enough for my condition. I think I better start over.”

I know what the theologians say about God, but what do I know about Him from the Bible?

  • It says His eyes roam to and fro, which means He looks around.
  • He collects my tears in a bottle. Evidently He is sentimental.
  • On a number of occasions His anger burned. That’s plain enough: He gets ticked.
  • He decided to forgive, Isaiah writes, for His own sake. It seems He chooses to forgive because it is in His best interest to do so.
  • He sought solitude to think, pray, and ponder.
  • He cried when Lazarus died, so He obviously let His emotions show.
  • He gathers His people like a mother hen does her brood. He feels a protective obligation.
  • Earth is His footstool. Apparently He kicks back and takes it easy.
  • Revelation says He is going to return to Earth riding a white horse. He must like animals and have them in heaven.
  • He leads us in His triumph. Sounds like He enjoys a big parade .
  • A sparrow does not die without His notice. Watching birds is a pastime of His I suppose.
  • He taught with parables. Obviously, a great story is something He appreciates.
  • He came to the disciples walking on the water. What a great joke! No one could pull this off except Him. I’ll bet He was laughing almost uncontrollably.

(Ref. 2 Chron. 16:9; Ps. 56:8; Deut. 29:27; Is. 43:25; Mk. 1:35; Jn. 11:35; Lk. 13:34; Is. 66:1; Rev. 19:11; 2 Cor. 2:14; Mk. 10:29; Mt. 22:1; Mt. 14:25)

At first I was thinking to myself, then mumbling, then speaking out loud as my enthusiasm grew with the vision unfolding before me. I cannot comprehend omniscient and omnipotent. I can’t really grasp merciful and just, but I can relate to forgiveness, sentimentality, compassion, relaxation, birds, stories, and parades.

God leaped out of the theology of my file folder and painted a new vision of who He is and what makes Him tick. He became large. Larger than life. Larger than theology. Larger than the characteristics attributed to Him in my study. Larger than my concept. Said another way: God became large enough for me to see myself in Him by making Himself simple enough for me to understand Him. In this is the true genius of Someone omniscient and perpetual.

Instead of another unsuccessful attempt to squeeze myself into the insecure smallness of what I could not comprehend in the file folder, God introduced me to a vision of Himself as broad as the horizon, opened His arms and said, “Get your nose out of the file. Lift your head toward the light. Run to me, Pres. Run from any direction. I’m large enough for you, your dreams, your failures, your successes, your miscues, your passions, and your stutters. Run! And I will run with you.&#148

I thought I had lost the joy of running. But I have found it again!

Preston Gillham

About the Author

As a co-founder, Preston Gillham led Lifetime for 30 years. Preston is a writer, speaker, and leadership guide. He has authored numerous articles and several books including No Mercy and Battle for the Round Tower. He blogs on “Life and Leadership”. More about Preston, his writings, speaking, and his consulting practice can be located at PrestonGillham.com.