Maybe if my God Doesn't Fit in the Small Spaces, He's Not Big Enough
Maybe if my God doesn't fit in the Small Spaces, He's Not Big Enough
Occasionally, I struggle with doubt. One of my biggest struggles has been a rather simple one -- and while driving my car this afternoon, I had a sudden flash of insight concerning it that I had to write down.
I remember talking to my teacher after a Freshman-Level Critical Thinking class at Solano Community College in northern California. We were arguing about Jesus dying for the sins of the world. There happened to be a globe in the office. I vividly remember the teacher, in a fit of passion, pointing to the approximate spot on the globe where Christ died.
“Why did he die in such a small spot?” she said. “If he really died for the whole world, why didn’t the whole world hear about it instantly? Why would he just die in a tiny little corner of the globe, and do it so quietly?”
That question has haunted me for years. Countless missionaries have sacrificed their lives to spread the news of an event that happened on a cross that was ground into a hole smaller than this computer screen. And then, there’s the entire universe…how could something so small have so much impact and so much importance?
I mean, think about it. When Jesus was crucified, only a handful of people, relatively speaking, saw it. For almost everyone else in the world, it was just another day. Most people had never heard of him.
Yet, I’m expected to believe that this was the biggest event in the world.
And another thing – a baby born in a feeding trough. In a dark cave, out in the middle of nowhere. Men inside the inn were drinking and talking, women were participating in the local gossip, kids were running around, the innkeeper was going crazy trying to keep up with everything, business was booming, and most of the entire rest of the world is going on with ruling, keeping order, warring, eating, sleeping, etc., and in the middle of this craziness -- on a spot in the universe so miniscule that, if a map of the universe as big as this library was drawn, we couldn’t see it with a regular microscope -- a baby is born to a carpenter's wife.
And you expect me to believe that that one event is the birth of the Almighty Son of God? Shouldn’t it be, like, a bigger deal?
Yes there are the shepherds and the wise men, but still – this is a child. This is a baby born out in the middle of nowhere.
I mean, sometimes I think that if we actually travelled back to the birth of Jesus and saw him as a newborn, we would expect Hollywood glamour and romanticized visions of glowing hay in the manger – and our first thought would be, “That’s it?”
This is what I’ve been struggling with. But recently, it dawned on me that what I’m really struggling with is the question, “How could a God so big work so powerfully in a place so small?”
My struggle of faith has been in my tendency to believe that God doesn’t fit in the small places.
It’s recently dawned on me that if my God doesn’t fit in the small places, he’s not big enough.
That's enough to turn my world upside down.