i don’t want to fit you on a cross around my throat

May 17, 2011 at 11:56 am 3 comments

I don’t know why songs are so often an inspiration for posts – but they are. I was listening to JJ Heller’s “Small” the other day, where she sings about how we so often try to make God into something manageable and understandable.  “The walls are closing in on You; You cannot be contained. And oh, I don’t want to make you small; I don’t want to fit you in my pocket, on a cross around my throat…”

And I can sing that so easily. And then realize: yes, I do want to make God small. It’s kinda scary to not know exactly What you’re dealing with, to never be able to really understand what He’s doing or why.  It’s so much more comfortable to box him in.

When things are good. When I can get along in life just fine with a small god.

But oh, when things are bad – I realize that this is the one thing I need: a God who is God. I need Him to be bigger than I, and far wiser and better; I need to know that He is in control and there is a purpose behind this trial. It’s okay that I can’t see or understand the purpose, though I sure wish I could. But I desperately need to know that there is one.

I need to know that He is still in control when control has been wrested out of my grip.

I need to know that He is big enough that He can and will bring something good out of this. 

He needs to be bigger than trials, suffering, evil, heartbreak, and everything else that goes wrong. If I box Him in as a helpful genie, then when something goes wrong, He’s failed. He didn’t give me what I wanted, didn’t smooth out the paths for me and bring me a happy life. 

It’s easy to slip back into trying to understand Him fully, and making Him small enough that I can understand Him, when things are good.  When I don’t need him to be bigger than my life circumstances. When I don’t need to cling to the promise that He knows what He’s doing, and He’s so big that he doesn’t have to spare me from all suffering and trials – but He can instead use them and turn them around for good.

I need Him to be my rock that I can stand on, not a good-luck charm I can fit in my pocket.

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Entry filed under: faith.

it’s in the simple things change

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Becky  |  May 17, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    This is exactly what I needed today. Thank you!

    Reply
  • 2. Annie  |  May 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    why songs are often an inspiration for posts: because they’re awesome. and that’s about all i got for a meaningful analysis of why they spur on the writer in us, haha.

    on a less jocular* note, i love this post. related ramblings below:

    i’ve never really understood why, when i screw up so consistently, i still feel i have to take charge. i still have to make God small. what am i trying to prove, and to whom? we all mess up. some of us in big ways, some of us in small ways, but messing up is messing up, period. and how would you measure how big or small the error is anyway?

    sometimes, when it seems like everything is falling apart, i’m so thankful God is bigger than it all. because i can’t fix it, and i know He can. and even if He doesn’t fix it, He’ll bring me through it. and knowing that makes me wonder why i ever want to make Him small. if He’s bigger than my pain, surely He is bigger than my joy – but i don’t act that way.

    surrender = far, far easier said than done.

    *i kind of just wanted an excuse to use this word. please forgive the part of me that’s a vocab nerd.

    Reply
  • 3. overlapped  |  May 25, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Why should I forgive it? I’m a word nerd too 🙂

    Love your thoughts, Annie! I find myself in the same place. God and I both know that it’s a terrible idea to let me be in control of my own life and circumstances. And yet I never stop trying, desperately…

    And i LOVE that thought that he’s bigger than my joy! So true. It’s like the C.S. Lewis quote about all our earthly blessings being sunbeams – how much more wondrous must the sun itself be?

    Reply

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