“O, God, thy sea is so great and my boat is so small.” —An Old Breton Fishermen’s prayer, from a plaque on President John F. Kennedy’s desk
God can seem dark and vast, stormy, dangerous and overwhelming—like the churning sea. But like the sea, He’s also encompassing—unpredictable at times—but His love and grace fill the deep, endless expanse of all He is. The sea is always bigger than the storm. Even on the waves He comes to us walking, reminding us, “Fear not—it is I,” and calms the storm.
We are surrounded and we are safe.
“If through a broken heart God can bring His purposes to pass in the world, then thank Him for breaking your heart.” —Chaplain John Akers, PCLEC
What God is doing is greater than we know, even when it hurts. He never told His kids that life in Him was bliss—quite the opposite. But He said He’d be there when life hurts—and He still binds up the broken-hearted. Yours, too.
One of my favorites…
When we have exhausted our store of endurance,
When our strength has failed ere the day is half done,
When we reach the end of our hoarded resources,
Our Father’s full giving is only begun;
For His love has no limit; His grace has no measure.
His pow’r has no boundary known unto men;
For out of His infinite riches in Jesus,
He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again!
—Annie J. Flint
We’ll never reach the end of Him.
Sometimes God is hard to see. “Where is God in my darkness?” people cry, and understandably so. Yet even the night cannot contain Him…
“As the rain hides the stars, as the autumn mist hides the hills, happenings of my lot hide the shining of Thy face from me. Yet, if I may hold Thy hand in the darkness, it is enough; since I know that, though I may stumble in my going, Thou dost not fall.” —Alistair Maclean
He was there all along.
Oruel, a fictional pagan in C.S. Lewis’ book, Till We Have Faces, lashed out at the gods for their fickleness…
“I say the gods deal very un-rightly with us. For they will neither…go away and leave us to live our own short days to ourselves, nor will they show themselves openly and tell us what they would have us do. For that too would be endurable. But to hint and hover, to draw near us in dreams and oracles, or in a waking vision that vanishes as soon as seen, to be dead silent when we question them and then glide back and whisper words we cannot understand in our ears when we most wish to be free of them, and to show to one what they hide from another; what is all this but cat-and-mouse play, blindman’s buff, and mere jugglery? Why must holy places be dark places?”
I have sometimes felt the same way about God. I’m glad He’s not that way. Alistair Maclean knew it, too…
“As the rain hides the stars, as the autumn mist hides the hills, happenings of my lot hide the shining of Thy face from me. Yet, if I may hold Thy hand in the darkness, it is enough; since I know that, though I may stumble in my going, Thou dost not fall.”
He is good and He is strong. Stronger than coffee. Stronger than anything.