i used to need a tiny God.
and when i say that, i think of the cheesy John the Baptist snowglobe (well, technically it was a water-globe) that we had in our living room. Jesus and JTB were inside and when you shook it, the artificially blue water sloshed down, “baptizing” them. wahoo.
i used to need a God who would fit in a delicate glass globe amongst my mom’s victorian hat boxes.
when i thought about the real God, i pictured Genie from Disney’s Alladin: He could be everywhere at once, he could stretch out to fit the sky, he could multiply and race around the globe, he could melt down and fill the ocean, he could grow big and bounce the earth like a ping pong ball. He was this giant, uncontainable presence that scared the crap out of me.
so i wanted him to be small. tiny. my-size-barbie-esque.
i liked when God was described as “here beside me” or “my best friend” “my confidant”. i liked the stuff about Him being a part of my daily life and caring that my guinea pig died (rest in peace, Zippy) and helping me finish my math homework. i liked the cozy side of God. all of the other stuff – the stuff about Him ruling the earth and reigning in power and majesty and commanding the waves and overseeing history – that was all just much too much. it made Him feel distant and terrifying – not in a bad way but more in a strange, unfamiliar way.
i’ve been reading through Psalms lately.
and i used to think of Psalms as kind of a bipolar teenage diary. one second it’s all “God, where are you – my life sucks” and the next, it’s “God is so good! praise Him forever!”. and of course, we can all relate to both. but since i have been reading through it front to back, i am seeing two consistent themes. the first is honesty. these people tell God EXACTLY how they feel and in the end, realize who they’re talking to – which is why i think so many of them take a bizarre turn toward praisetown. which brings me to the next thing i am seeing. the most consistent message i keep getting smacked with in Psalms is this: God reigns. the Lord reigns. He is above it all. so many of the Psalms focus on His power and majesty and…bigness.
and the little kid inside of me wants to shrink away from this. wants to shove that tricksy Genie back into the waterglobe. but at this point in my life, when i’m standing on the edge of the real world and realizing just how enormous it really is, a big God doesn’t seem so scary anymore. on the contrary, it feels like quite a comfort. to see the job market as this vast, bustling landscape and then to imagine Him stretched out over it. large and in charge. to see my future rolling out like a not-so-red carpet with a million multiplied Genies lining either side. to know that as bipolar as i may feel day in and day out, and as big and tangled and complicated this adult life may get, HE REIGNS. bottom line is, at the end of the day, no matter what life throws at me, He is bigger.
and i don’t say that as a chirpy, saccharine Christiany answer to any problem. like the Psalmists, i know there will be times when i’ll pull a line from a Mel Gibson movie, shake my little fist at the sky and say “this sucks!” but to know that He is bigger than the suckiness is a tiny comfort in and of itself.