I stood on the edge of the water, the roar of the waves as they chased each other to the shoreline echoing in my ears. Staring in awe over the vast expanse of ocean that lay before me, it seemed to have no end and that thought sent a shiver down my spine.
I remember that moment like it was yesterday, the feeling of overwhelm and the sudden urge to kneel in the sand and praise God was overpowering. His power and glory were so tangible, so close, so there, and yet at the same time too far to reach and too big to hold.
There are some things in life that we love but are too big for us.
Humans are creatures of curiosity, of wonder, of minds never satisfied with the “mundane”. We stare out through the lens of a telescope trying to make sense of the stars, planets, and Milky Ways hanging suspended above us. Always craving more as we cast our gaze out to sea, and drink in the beauty of the silver dusted waves. It’s awe-striking, it’s captivating, it’s glorious.
It’s beautiful, the small glimpses of glory we catch, and in many ways, they are like God.
Staring up at the sky as the sun sets is one of my favorite things to do, because during the day the blue is too harsh on my migraine eyes. It’s only evening when soft pinks, gentle reds, and orange hues sweep across the clouds, that I can look up and take in the majesty of the colors. Colors gradually fade until all that’s left is a black carpet with pinpricks of light shining through.
Oftentimes, I get teary-eyed when I watch the stars twinkle and wink, the moon, or the ocean as it laps at my toes tempting me deeper, because it’s just–so much. It’s too much for me to look at, too much for me to behold, too much for me to take in and understand all at once.
They are terrible beauties and despite our love for them, they don’t welcome us so readily.
The weight and power of the water can be scary when the wind kicks up and the tide rushes in, and space is cold and so vast in size it feels suffocating at times. There is no mercy or grace found in the water when a storm brews, waves churning dangerously, and there is no mercy found in space, where there is no oxygen offering life to a curious voyager. Creation shuns many of us from exploring its depths except for those highly trained and knowledgeable on how to handle its majesty with respect and care.
We love things that are too big for us, but where does that leave God? He is higher than the highest mountain, deeper than the deepest part of the sea, and fiercer than the hottest fire.
Is He also too big for us to grasp, to hold, and to love?
I know for a fact that He is. The Bible tells me as much and my heart confirms it as I thumb through the pages of His word. If the ocean will destroy me and space overwhelm me, what of God’s power and majesty? His strength and authority? Will He also crush me beneath the pressure and weight of His being?
God is so different from us (numerous verses confirm this fact) and oftentimes, our hearts and minds sit baffled. He is a horrific beauty and when He goes forth into the nations, the mountains tremble and the skies flee away. Up on Mt. Siani, Isaiah fell to his knees and covered his face at the mere sight of him, and even in heaven we will still not be able to look into the face of God because He is too overwhelmingly beautiful and great for our being to handle. This being the reason His son had to die, to bridge the divide between raw majestic power and our fragile selves.
Yes, God is power. Yes, God is fierce. Yes, God is a ruler. Yes, God is far but He is also near.
He draws near to us and urges us to come near to him. We are so different from Him and Him from us, but He is also welcoming. His arms are outstretched, yearning to embrace us, to drench us in the overwhelming security and comfort of His love.
He is power, He is terror, but He is also grace, and He is gentle.
The presence of our God can be terrifying for people who are not yet saved, and can even be fatal like it was for Uzza. For those cleansed by the blood of our Savior, we no longer have to fear His glory and can enter into it with singing and praise.
We love a God who is too big for us, but we must not forget that He is also the One who first loved us. His love will always and forever be too big for us to comprehend and understand. All we can do is continue to walk in obedience, and ask Him for moments of clarity and understanding as we journey with Him throughout our life.
One day, He will return and make all things new and one day, the sea, and space will no longer be a cause for our hearts to tremble.