Dear, dear Corinthians, I can’t tell you how much I long for you to enter this wide-open, spacious life. We didn’t fence you in. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren’t small, but you’re living them in a small way. I’m speaking as plainly as I can and with great affection. Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!
~ II Corithians 6:11-13(The Message Version)
Welcome to part three of my series. (Click for Part I and II) Today I’d like to focus on the expansive nature of God. True confessions time. I’m a bit of a science geek. I actually have a favorite physicist. How many blonde, ballerina, romance authors do you know who have a favorite physicist? He’s a Jewish man named Dr. Gerald Schroeder, and his theories on the creation of the world blow my mind.
Here are just a few amazing statistics about our universe. It is thought to be approximately 93 billion light years (light years, not miles) in diameter. And a light year is roughly 6 trillion miles. Written out that looks like 6,000,000,000,000. That’s an awful lot of zeroes. Now multiply that times the 93 billion. Whew!
Our universe is believed to contain about 100 billion galaxies. And to put that into perspective, our own Milky Way galaxy is thought to contain 200 – 400 billion stars. Should I write that out with zeroes as well? Now consider that it would take over four light years (again, that’s light years, not earth years) to travel to the nearest star beyond our solar system. Are you beginning to get a picture of how staggering our universe is? And beyond all of that, our universe is in a constant state of expansion.
Yes, that blows my mind. And God blows my mind. That God would build countless galaxies to create the perfect world just for us. For me. For you. It reminds me of the expansive nature of God. That he is just sooooo big! That while he is the same yesterday, today, and forever, our awareness and understanding of him can grow everyday.
This mind-boggling God, how can he be both alpha and omega? Both beginning and end? How can he embody both justice and mercy, righteousness and grace, order and freedom. Yet in his paradoxical expansiveness, he does.
Sometimes we can’t quite handle the bigness of our God. The seeming contradictions contained within him. So what do we do? We make him smaller. We put him into little boxes of denominations, traditions, and doctrines that we can wrap our finite minds around. And in doing so, we create our own graven images. Our own little “g” gods made after our own preferences and limitations.
But God cannot be contained in a little box. In him the entire universe, galaxy after galaxy, all the laws of nature, down to the smallest particle of an atom, exist and function. No wonder he desires for us to live spacious, wide-open lives in the expansive world he designed for us. Rather than try to put God in a box, how about we gaze at him in awe and wonder, hoping each new day we’ll grasp him just a tiny bit more. How about we just say, “Wow!”
Amazing, unfathomable, God. Father. Daddy. Help us not to put you in a little box. Help us not to create our own graven images. Rather help us to grow in relationship and intimacy with you so that we might become more accurate reflections of your splendor to those around us here on the earth.
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