In which God is not too small, or love too shallow

by Craig on September 8, 2011

Where have I even stood but the shore along Your ocean?source

But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

I wish the words above were mine. It’s a song by a group called Addison Road. And it slays me every time. These words have been mine, in thought, or worship, or prose, but there’s something about a song that etches itself into us, and we remember.

The most consistent and noble parts of my life for the last quarter of a century have been studying God, and loving with His love, and yet I know I haven’t even begin to scratch the very outer surface of mastering either.

What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?

And this isn’t a comment about me, or us, and our inability to comprehend all that is God. It’s about how immense the One, who is God of all things, is. Even with the humility that admits it knows nothing, notice how I still want to put myself at the center.

Even with the humility that admits it knows nothing, I still want to put myself at the center.

source

Meh…

What do I know of holy?

And I think that only in eternity can we ever have enough time to scratch the surface of understanding.

And I think that we can learn enough to live and love for one human lifetime, on a blue dot, suspended on a sunbeam, swirling in the universe. And what we run out of time for – we have eternity to discover and do.

And I think…

I think…

do I really want a God so small, or a love so shallow, that I could master knowledge or practice of either in just one life span?

And what of the fullness of time, and how the strands of history came together to make one. perfect. moment. for the arrival of the Savior?

The strands of history came together to make one. perfect. moment. the fullness of time for the arrival of the Savior?source

I’m thinking about the portion of that fullness of time…

after they had returned from Exile in Babylon…

when there was no empire strong enough to rule Israel…

prior to Rome’s massive empire, after Greece, and 200 years before A.D…

a time, they thought, to usher in the kingdom of God…

and begin the kingdom of Israel again…

and to a point…

succeeded.

and I guess in the contemplation of the fullness of time…

that’s where I’ll pick up, God willing, tomorrow…

please come back.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Dawn September 8, 2011 at 10:12 am

Dear Craig,

I was introduced to the song by Addison Road just yesterday. Perhaps in preparation for today? What do I know of holy? God told Moses that he would die if he saw Him. The people at the foot of Mt Sinai could not bear the “terrible” glory of the Lord when He spoke to them. Francis Frangipane tells a story in his book “The Three Battlegrounds” about praying fervently for God to show Himself to him. He begged and begged until one night God came and Francis said he had to beg Him to leave because he thought he was going to die. In his humanness he could not take the holiness.

I’m so very thankful that God is merciful and does not torture me day after day with my sinfulness. He had His son take care of that without my having to stand in His presence every day. The huge gap between me and my Creator would leave me so very hopeless. Only He could fill it and He did…in the fullness of time, in my own personal fullness of time as well as that of history.

There are no words for this——-are there?
Dawn

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Craig September 8, 2011 at 12:29 pm

Nope, no words – such a good point you make about how God does not leave this forever in the state of sin – how for Adam and Eve to have continued to eat of the tree of life would have been horrible. Life comes, and sin, and death, and life, and no sin. I just made that up – but it was inspired by you. Thank you Dawn, and God bless you!

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Andrea Dawn September 8, 2011 at 10:38 am

Hey Craig,

The song is one of my favourites also . . . always stops me in my tracks. I have finally finished a new post at WORD Pictures (It’s About Time) and one of the scriptures I included was very curious to me. I have read it several times before but for some reason this part escaped my attention . . . until last night.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 says “He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.”

As I was reading this last night, the “exception” part struck me. “No one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.” It seems that the mystery that often coexists with the knowing of God . . . about God . . . is part of His plan . . . it’s a part of faith. We can all know (head knowledge) what has been revealed in scripture, in nature and we can gain heart knowledge as we engage with God and walk in His ways. But it is “the glory of God to conceal a matter . . . and the glory of kings to search it out.” (Proverbs 25:2)

The song calls me to both live in the mystery AND search out the matter. You, my friend, excel at searching out a matter, which is what Deep Into Scripture is all about.

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Craig September 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

I don’t know where to begin with this comment, first – that exception in Ecclesiastes 3: 11 – I think I might’ve always skipped over that too – always focusing on the eternity in our heart part. Nicely done Andrea Dawn! Only to the one who created time – are the secrets of time not secret – the mysteries of time not mystery. Excellent thoughts! Thank you! And thank you for your kind words – I heart God’s mysteries, and God secrets, and we are all Kings and Queens and priests now after all, aren’t we? so we seek!Thank you Andrea Dawn and God bless and keep you.

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shannon September 8, 2011 at 11:23 am

I love that song!!! so true so very very true.

and I totally agree “do I really want a God so small, or a love so shallow, that I could master knowledge or practice of either in just one life span?”

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Craig September 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm

and I agree with your agreement Shannon ツ and I’m glad we agree to that we don’t want a God that small – we want a BIG God – and THAT – rather HIM – we have. God bless you Shannon.

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Martha Orlando September 8, 2011 at 12:25 pm

I have not ever heard that song, but now you have me anxious to! And, yes, what can we truly know about the holiness of God in this one lifetime? I’m so thankful He sent Jesus to help us understand as much as we possibly can about the nature of God.

Blessings!

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Craig September 8, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Martha, I should’ve put a link into the song – but if you Google “what do I know of holy” you can find it – it’s breathtaking really. I think maybe tomorrow I’ll put a link in the post – because I’ve got a little more to say about this. And I’m thankful too, that God himself became the final revelation of God – and we can know what we need to know FOR this life IN this life. God bless you Martha, and thank you.

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Cora September 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jVScvSBsm40

I like this one as it has the words there. It’s one of those songs that leave you breathless until you can just sigh and slip quietly away from His awesome presence. I, too, never noticed that word in Andrea Dawn’s verse about eternity. What a paradox that we have eternity set in our hearts —- yet, how can we ever grasp that??? I have a hard enough time grasping this thing called time and the little space of it called “now.” Makes me feel like a little bug under a rock.

Yes, I want Him BIG, and AWESOME, too. In that, I find security and safety. And this may sound odd, but it makes me proud of Him — proud to call Him my Father, my King, my Creator, and my Savior!!!!

Thank you for the song today, Craig. It made my day an absolutely awesome one!

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Craig September 10, 2011 at 4:37 pm

We aren’t little bugs under rocks – but specks on a blue dot. But His specks ツ

I heart that song!!!!! it’s been in my head for weeks now.

And you are so right Cora, to be a creation sounds very unimportant – but be a creation of the one who is, as you put it, “BIG, and AWESOME” – that makes me kind of proud to call him my creator too. Awesome thought Cora!

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Debbie September 9, 2011 at 2:30 am

Thank you Craig , for helping me think about it as Him being big . . .not me being so insignificant. That blessed me. So God bless you!

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Craig September 10, 2011 at 4:39 pm

You might remember that lesson I learned on a mountaintop in New Mexico – I blogged about it – the tree that fell in the forest – we ARE insignificant in the eyes of the universe – but most significant to the one who created the universe. I heart that! Thank YOU Debbie, and God bless and keep you my friend.

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A. September 9, 2011 at 2:27 pm

Deb, I like the way you put that… Cora, as I scrolled down, I kept thinking, “I know Cora will find this and give us a link!” Thank you, Cora. So much here, isn’t there? Craig, I wasn’t familiar with that song or its lyrics, either. I am very glad you shared it, and that Andrea Dawn had the very interesting verse to go with it. I know I wouldn’t want a God I could completely fathom. It seems on the one hand it might be nice because then all questions would be answered. I wonder, though, in the next phase of life…the after life…if we will so trust Him based on whatever degree of knowledge we have of Him then, that what we don’t know won’t matter-if we don’t know all things then.

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Craig September 10, 2011 at 4:42 pm

A. What you wrote made me wonder if the reason why people in ancient times carved idols and placed them on their mantles – sometimes even as personal gods of their very own – maybe they did that so they could “control” their God – and create their own God. Then all of the answers would be there – because they made them up. Thank you for bringing that to my mind. There’s just never enough in any one of my posts – these comments – these comments are always so, so, so full of awesome. God bless you A.

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