Who is the True God except the Eternal? Who stands like a rock except our God? The True God who encircled me with strength and made my pathway straight. He made me sure-footed as a deer and placed me high up where I am safe. He teaches me to fight so that my arms can bend a bronze bow. You have shielded me with Your salvation, supporting me with Your strong right hand, and it makes me strong. You taught me how to walk with care
so my feet will not slip. (Psalm 18:31-46 VOICE)
so my feet will not slip. (Psalm 18:31-46 VOICE)
On occasion I run across an article or perhaps a television documentary in which someone is attempting to postulate as to the "existence" of God. The age-old question of who he is, if he is real, or how he could have created the universe always come up, doesn't it? People try hard to answer these questions, but somehow fall short unless they receive the "evidence" of God in faith. The massive quantity of stars in the many galaxies in the skies, or even the grains of sand on the seashores across our own planet almost make it impossible for the human mind to fathom anyone being able to count them, keep track of their movement, or even know why these things exist in the first place! Imagine how hard it is for us to come to an understanding of all God is, what he does, or how he could be in all places at all times. Some things are not going to be understood by the mind when they are meant to be understood in the heart. Some things we can know about God only by coming to know God:
1. He encircles us with his strength. At first this may not seem like a big deal to anyone who doesn't know God or questions his existence. Their intent is to rely upon their own strength and this often prohibits them from even looking for any source of strength other than that which comes from deep within their ability to reason, calculate, postulate, etc. Most of us don't appreciate strength until it wanes. We don't look for anything outside of ourselves until we experience a need deeper than we can possibly meet with our own efforts. Yet, for those who accept the existence of God, who have put their trust in him and desire to understand him as completely as they possibly can, there is a strength which "encircles" their lives which is more than physical. There is a strength or fortitude of mind - giving us capacity to comprehend things in ways we didn't previously appreciate them such as the depth of despair in the heart of a hurting soul. God's strength is more than "brawn" - it is the capacity to endure all things - despite the body's argument to the contrary!
2. He sets straight what human effort cannot. Maybe this is one of the greatest ways we can experience God - through his making straight what we have managed to mess up, get out of whack, or completely muddle up in our lives. My words are insufficient to mend a broken relationship. My very best efforts can glue together pieces of a shattered glass, but that glass won't hold water again! God sees the beginning point - he also sees the end point. Between the beginning and the end the line develops. I don't know of anyone capable of making a straight line between two points without the guidance of a device of some kind. We rely upon rulers, lasers, and the like to help us span the distance between one point and the next. Why? To rely upon the "evenness" or "stability" of our eye, hand, feet, etc., is to rely upon what vacillates, cannot hold steady despite our best efforts. God's movement in our lives is one of bringing "evenness" and "stability" in ways we cannot.
3. He doesn't so much carry us as he does create the ability to be "sure-footed" and able to stand in his power. As a child we might have asked our dad to put us on his shoulders - helping us to see over the crowds as a passing parade crossed our paths, or when we wanted to be "on top of the world". It was a placement which changed our perspective and helped us take in things in a new light. As long as we viewed the passing parade through the sea of legs in front of us, we only caught glimpses of what we were intended to see and we were jostled around so as to not see fully what could be seen. When dad lifted us up, placing us squarely on his shoulders, not only were we able to see clearly, but the foundation upon which we rested ensured we were able to take in things we would have missed in all the jostling around us. God doesn't put us on a pedestal so much as he ensures we break free of the things which prohibit us taking in what he is doing in our lives. Why? He wants us to participate fully in what he has created and what he is doing.
4. He does more than just create things - he sustains, protects, renews, and endows all of creation. We may not be able to understand "how" he does all of this, but as long as we trust he does, we are on our way to understanding him as he wants to be known. He is busy beyond what we can comprehend as busy-ness, and yet he never tires or falters. He is attentive way beyond our capacity to maintain our own attention span on any one thing, yet he never misses a beat with all the other things demanding his attention. These are tough concepts for us to grasp, but they aren't grasped in the mind - they are known in the heart. Trust isn't "mind based" - it is heart driven. To know God, one must somehow just trust he is, he will always be, he has always been, and nothing exists without him being who and what he is. Just sayin!