Friday, 29 July 2011

The God of small things

Although God created the whole universe and obviously created everything in it, He is also the God of small things and small concerns, the God of off the beaten track, the God that is often hidden from our sight and minds and at the very edge of our consciousness.  As well as being the God of large things, He is also the God of small things! 

In trying to understand God, we often put Him in a box, a box that is usually too small or just cannot hold Him.  As humans, we try to make God in our image, when in actual fact He made us in His image.  If we truly try to comprehend Him, we might be left even more puzzled than before.  Why does God want to be mysterious, why does He often seem to cloak Himself in mystery, so that we struggle to ascertain who He is and what He is about?  In trying to answer this question, and answer it honestly, we might just get closer to the nature of God Himself.

Although God is often portrayed as being part of the Establishment, and part of the power elites, is He really?  Just who did God come for after all?  God is the God of small concerns, small things, forgotten things, He is the champion of the oppressed and the humble, the left out, the lowly and even the despised.  In understanding this, that God often comes to meet the humble and the lowly, rather than the powerful, wealthy and even self-important, we might begin to get to the heart of God’s often unfathomable nature.  He bypassed the wealthy, powerful and very religious Egyptians to come to the almost Stone Age and childlike tribe of Israel.  Even in this, we might begin to understand better God’s character.  He is a God of supreme fairness, justice and equality in a world where often such qualities are in very short supply.  He is a God who can be relied on, and the God of second chances, amongst many other things.

In walking through nature, through hills and dales and even lonely windswept beaches off the beaten track, we might come closer to God in some way and understand maybe for the first time that He is the God of the lonely, of lonely and windswept places, the God of solitude, the God of unspoken yearnings, the God of abstract thoughts, the God of our imagination and the God of places remote and seemingly at the edge of the world.  Wherever we might find ourselves, in the centre of a busy city or miles away from anywhere on a lonely and windswept beach, God is with us perhaps even in the most abstract way.  He will certainly walk with us if we are not too proud to walk with Him.  God is the God who will lean down and listen to us, whoever we are and whatever predicament we might find ourselves in, and He is the God who literally came down to earth as a man to teach us all how to live for Him.

God is the God of our hobbies, our little interests and the simple little enjoyable things we all like to do at times, whatever that might be.  He can give us a new life and forgive our past, He can give us a reason to enjoy our life again and He can wash us clean of our guilt.  God can set us on a new path and give us purpose and direction in our lives, even if we have led purposeless and directionless lives.   God can take any person from the gutter of his or her own life and make them a glorious success.  He is the God of abstract thoughts; He is also the God of stark reality too.

God is the God of the struggling, the unhappy, the unfulfilled, the lost in life.  God is great and magnificent, but He is there for all those who are not so great and magnificent.  He is a mysterious God, but He will allow Himself to be found and understood by all those not too proud to seek Him out.  He will help us if we want Him to help us.  He will make us happy if we want Him to make us happy.  He will give us fulfilling lives if we want Him to give us fulfilling lives, and He will find us if we want Him to find us.  God created us, so He knows us and all about us, more than we probably know ourselves.  He loves us even more than our own mothers, and He cares tenderly for us.  He wants only the best for us and will provide for all our needs.  God is about mercy, second chances, new starts and new beginnings; all these are small things to God and He has the power to enable us all to move onto better lives.

In answering the question I posed at the start of this article, which started with ‘Why does God want to be mysterious…?’, I believe one of the reasons He often cloaks Himself in mystery is so that we will simply want to pursue Him and find out who He is and what He is about.  Listening to people talk about God is one thing, finding out for yourself is something else again.  It is when we try to live on a daily and ongoing basis as a Christian, that God might very well begin to reveal Himself.  And we can certainly ask Him in prayer to open our minds to the reality of God, and just who He is.  It is quite understandable in fact to want to know God and to want to understand Him and even His motives for wanting to be involved with humanity.  Perhaps another reason He may be so mysterious is so that He can quite simply surprise people who have never known Him, so that they are shocked by the reality and truth of God as opposed to the often cosy falsehoods and ill-conceived notions even some very religious people hold about Him.  I sometimes think that organised religion’s view of God is one thing, and an individual’s view who simply tries to walk with Him each day is something else completely.  We are told and even taught so many things about God by often well meaning people, but I believe it is when we encounter God for ourselves that we will truly begin to get to know and understand God, and know and understand God intimately.

Does God side with the rich, the important and the powerful?  Just who does He side with after all?  Does God side with the particularly religious, does He side with powerful and wealthy organised religion?  My answer, quite simply, is that I don’t think God sides with anyone, but will side with anyone who will side with Him.  Even if we have a calling from God in some way, we must take care to live out that calling and try to live honestly each day as Christians; otherwise, we might fool ourselves, we might even fool other people but we will not fool God.  I don’t think that God sides with particularly powerful or wealthy or even especially religious people, even popes and archbishops, unless they endeavour to walk with Him.  I also think that there are many people educated to be vicars, bishops, reverends and priests in all Christian denominations, who might know much about religion but know little if anything about God.  You don’t need to study Theology or be part of the Church hierarchy to be a Christian after all.  What is ultimately needed first off is your submission to God’s perfect and precious will, and finding out what that will is for your life.  Perhaps too a radical change in living your life.  Prayer and Bible study will also be a part of a Christian’s life.  In this way, whoever or whatever a person is, they will be serving God.  And that is a start.

God did create the whole universe, but He also created little moments where we can reflect on Him and His nature and where we can marvel that He takes as much care and concern over one enjoyable moment as He did over creating the whole universe and everything in it.  He is the God of small things, in the end.  He is able and willing to come into anyone’s life, and change that person’s life for the better.  This is regardless of an individual’s past, their circumstances, who they are and who they know, what religion they may have belonged to or what beliefs they may have held.  He is the God of everyone who wants Him to be their God.

He is the God of all our musings, the God of our wondering and the God of all our thoughts.  He is the God behind everything truly good in the world, and He abhors everything truly bad in the world.  He is the God of all good things in the world, and He is the God of all that we are, all that we dream of, all that we hold dear, all that is precious to us and all that brings true meaning into our lives.  He is the God who will save us from ourselves, and He is the God who will save us for something better.  He is the God who can be relied on, and He is a reliable God.  He is the God of big things and He is the God of small things too.

In a world that is more often than not divided in many ways, does God smile on human injustice?  Or does He, at least, turn a blind eye?  The answer to both these questions is no, He does not smile on human injustice nor does He turn a blind eye to it either.  Human sin is a big problem for God, and it is a big problem for humans as well.  It sometimes seems that those who oppress and in any ways exploit other people, do get away with it and even prosper at the same time.  And equally sometimes it seems that those who act justly and considerately towards others and try to live as Christians each day, often don’t seem to benefit from it and even get walked over by other people.  It is a sad fact of life.  As Christians, we must stay true to what we know is right.  In the end, God is our judge, and He will judge all humans impartially for what they have done.

God is the God of unimportant things, unimportant concerns and unimportant places.  He is the God of the one lost sheep.  He is the God who calls from afar, but who is always near.  He is the God of North and South, East and West.  He is the God of the Jews, and equally the God of the Gentiles.  He is the God of Black and White.  He is the God of the rich, and He is the God of the poor.  He is the God of men, and He is the God of women.  He is the God who created all humanity to live in harmony with Him and with each other.  He is the God for you and me.


  1. Hi Tim, I must say that this is certainly an excellent Blog you got going here! I especially like the part in which you state… “why does G-d want to be mysterious”? And you answered and said: “the reason He cloaks Himself in mystery is so that we will simply want to pursue Him and find out who He is and is about”.

    I firmly believe that as well. I often say… what G-d is in theory we must realize through nature and acquaint ourselves with scripture.

    However, I struggle with the very question of why there are so many critics and angry argumentative people that seek to downgrade the Bible, Jews, Christians, Creationists and others. These people are often atheistic people. They often post or email me asking me why G-d doesn’t reveal Himself to them, or for that matter the whole world to prove that He really exists.

    To me, I think that G-d’s existence is self evident throughout all of the natural world, but some people cannot see this, their worldview is blinded. But what these angry festering nonreligious people do not realize is that they are being used as instruments in the debate, because if the debate was only one sided how could we come to love G-d without the choice of having “free will” to weigh in the evidence and pursue him further. Or better yet to teach us all about the evil adversary that we are up against.

    I know that this is all part of the reason for this hatred. I have also learned that if I feed into this anger I am defeating the whole purpose of G-d’s plan. Before in the past I would retort back with a sarcastic or smart saying of some sort, but I soon realized that this only bread more anger and my attempts were futile. What seems to work best, no matter how hard it is to overlook, is just to ignore them and proceed on in a positive intelligent way. Yes they will call you names, and yes they will mock you and try and cut you down by any means they can, to try and make you look stupid or ridiculous. I do not feed into this anymore, nor does it effect me because I know the truth.

  2. Hi Anita; thanks for the intelligent and very thoughtful comment! Yes, turning the other cheek, even in the fiercest provocation, can bear fruit. I look forward to seeing your blog when you get one up and running!

  3. Author Anita Meyer21 August 2011 at 18:53

    You know I really don’t feel as if I had addressed the exact subject of your article about: The God of small things.

    Let me also say this… It seems to be the foolish things in this world that defeat the wise, and the week things that defeat the mighty, the proud and the arrogant. In fact G-d’s strategy in destroying the enemy is by a tiny infant in the arms of a Jewish mother, and out of that nursing babe G-d programmed the destruction of the enemy forever. His approach is to destroy the big things apparently with the little things.

    In my opinion… Brilliant! :)

  4. Hi Anita, The best thing a writer can hope for is that someone is moved by, or quite simply likes what they write; I'm flattered by your incisive comment!