When I was just a little boy (isn’t there a Simon and Garfunkle tune somewhere in there?) we would visit my Grandma ‘s house in Wisconsin, out in the country several miles away from the nearest town.
Among the memories of my grandparents’ farm, apart from all the great times playing in the barnyard, looking for arrowheads and picking fresh strawberries, peas and sweet corn from Grandma’s garden, are thoughts of God.
Two things in particular reminded me of God at Grandma’s house. The first was being outside and looking at the night sky and seeing so many stars! If you have ever been in the country where there aren’t any street lights, city lights, neon signs, etc., you know what I mean. My little mind would go WOW – God made ALL THAT!
The second thing that left a “God’ impression on my little heart was the little white country church with the tall steeple and stained glass windows, surrounded by tall fragrant pine trees, across the road from Gtandma’s house. Well, not the church itself – I don’t remember the inside, the preacher or a Sunday school teacher. I remember being being outside on Sunday morning and hearing the organ and the hymn ‘Holy, Holy, Holy’, echoing through those tall pines and fill the atmosphere! It was awesome!
I knew I was just a little boy and just about everything and everybody was bigger than me (except kittens and puppies), but God was bigger than the whole WORLD and everything it! It was kind of like Abraham’s attitude when he bargained for Sodom:
“Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes.” Genesis 18:27
It was a sense of my own smallness and God’s greatness. Well, that God is still my God , the God who is sovereign over all the affairs of men, the God who sent his own son to die for my sin and who will come one day to judge the earth.
It seems that somehow that much of the church today has made mortals bigger and God smaller. God seems more like a kindly grandfather that wants to ‘spoil’ us – that he lives just to gives us all the things we want in our quest for our ‘best life now’. Or, that God cannot imagine heaven without us in it, and that he sent his Son to die for us, hoping that some of us might (all on our own) someday choose him.
The Bible is full of this idea that God does everything he does first and foremost for his own glory – even our salvation! Listen to these few words from Ephesians.
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,
To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:1-14
Many years have come and gone since I visited Grandma’s house, but I NEVER want to lose that picture of God!