The monsters are only scary because you’re small

When I was little, there was a movie playing in the theaters. I remember it clearly. I don’t think we went to see it in the theater because I was too young–or I just had too much of a crazy imagination that it wasn’t wise.

My parents had quite a job with me and my brother. We had loud, visceral reactions in movie theaters. So I’m pretty sure we didn’t go see a lot of movies. Instead, we waited until they were available on VHS (yes, I’m dating myself).

shrunkthekids.jpg2But I clearly remember the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids. What a traumatic movie! If you haven’t seen it, you should. It’s one of those classic 80s family movies that every kid needs to see, just in case your eccentric headcase dad builds a shrink ray in his attic and you need to know how to survive.

I remember a lot of things from that movie, but one of the cool things that stood out to me was how the miniaturized kids tamed an ant to help carry them across the backyard. The blades of grass around them were massive–like ginormous water slides. Seeing the world from a miniaturized perspective turned even the simplest, least scary things into a nightmare.

So what does that tell us about perspective? As normal, non-shrunk people, we think we’re pretty big. The things that scared the kids in that movie (ants, cigarette butts, Cheerios, etc.) wouldn’t have been a problem for them if they’d been regular sized. But what happens when we, as regular-sized people, encounter problems and difficulties that seem way too big for us?

shrunkthekidsToday’s verses are Isaiah 55:8-9.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”

God sees things differently than we do because He’s bigger than we are. Those problems and challenges we encounter that seem insurmountable are nothing to Him.

Sort of like in that crazy movie. To us, a blade of grass is nothing. It’s small enough to us that we can get around it, lift it, move it, step on it, whatever. To a miniaturized person, a blade of grass is a massive obstacle. Normal life is exactly the same.

You’re going to run into obstacles and challenges in life that are too big for you, and there won’t be anything you can do about it. You’ll encounter heartache and frustration and confusion and anger, and you’ll reach the point where you understand that some things are just out of your control. And at that point, you have two options. You either give up, or you let it go.

Don’t give up. Giving up never helped anybody.

But letting go? That’s a different story. When you let go of what you’re trying to do or understand, that’s when God can come along and help. Because as long as you stubbornly hold on to it (whatever it is), He’ll let you keep trying to do it by yourself. And you’ll fail.

But when you let go and give it to Him? That’s when He can turn it into something better than you can imagine. Why? Because He’s bigger than you can imagine. The worst obstacles in your path are nothing to Him. The greatest fears and frustrations in your life aren’t even a blip on His radar.

He sees your life differently than you do. He sees the challenges you’re facing differently than you do. Because He’s bigger and greater and stronger than anyone else you have ever known.

Don’t be afraid to let go of your dreams, your goals, and even your fears. Don’t give up, but stop holding on so tight. It’s tempting to do that because the bigger the challenges in your life, the harder you tend to cling to your own strength.

Stop it. Your own strength will fail. Instead, cling to the One whose strength will never fail. God knows what’s happening in your life. He knows the end of your story, and He knows His plans for you. And guess what? They’re awesome.

So maybe life is overwhelming. Maybe you have obstacles in your path that just seem impossible to overcome. Maybe there are monsters in your way. But maybe they only look like monsters because you’re too small to know better. Maybe those impossible, overwhelming things really aren’t that big either.

With God on your side, you can do anything. So don’t be afraid. Don’t give up. And let Him have the chance to prove it to you.

Composed in the evening . . . or the morning . . . I don’t really know

So this is a first.

It’s a quarter till 2 in the morning and I haven’t slept yet.

But since I have no intention of waking up in four hours, I figured I’d do this morning’s devotion before I went to bed. How crazy is that?

I have to warn you though, readers, that I am supremely exhausted. So if I switch over and start writing in Klingon, you can chalk it up to sleep deprivation. =)

As I am uber-tired (stupid product catalog repagination project), I will keep this brief. What’s really awesome is that the verse really speaks for itself. It’s one of my favorites, although it’s one of the ones that frustrates the living daylights out of me.

Isaiah 55:8-9

 8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
      “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
 9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
      so my ways are higher than your ways
      and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.

Have you ever tried to understand God? Have you ever tried to wrap your head around who He is and what He’s planning? Probably didn’t work too well, did it?

I know I’ve tried so many times to figure out what He’s up to, and usually I end up frustrating myself.

I’ve heard it said that us trying to understand God is like trying to find one specific grain of sand on all the beaches of the world. Or like trying to find a single molecule of water in all the oceans of the world. It’s impossible. Our puny little insignificant human minds couldn’t take it.

I’m reminded of a story out of the Old Testament when Moses asked to see God, and God put him in a cave and covered him with His hand and passed by and allowed Moses to see the very trailing edge of His glory. Any more than that and Moses’ weak human body would have turned to dust and ash. And even seeing that much of God turned Moses into a nightlight. It’s a cool story. In Exodus I believe.

So what is it about us human types that makes us think that we can understand God? Or that we can tell Him what to do? Well, it’s pride. And that’s something we all suffer from, no matter who we are or even how long we’ve followed Christ.

I could wax eloquent for a couple hundred more words, but I think my eloquence is waxed out.

So let’s just be realistic here.

God created everything. God knows everything. He’s all powerful, and He’s everywhere all the time.

And the plain and simple fact is that we only get to breathe on a regular basis by His grace. There is nothing that we have that He hasn’t given us, whether it’s our homes or our families or our jobs (stupid product catalog project that keeps me up to 2 in the morning but that I’m thankful for becuase I have a job).

So instead of sitting around pondering the meaning of God’s will or seeking the answer to life, the universe and everything (it’s 42, by the way), read the Bible. The Bible will tell you everything you need to know about God. Or at least, it will tell you everything you can possibly attempt to grasp about Him.

But most of all it will show you how much you still have to learn. And I think that’s the point.