I spoke in class chapel last week and a lot of people had asked that I share what I talked about. So if you didn’t get to hear it, here you go! This has something that has been on my heart the last several weeks and I am glad it spoke to so many:
I don’t like to ask for help. I will try to find places on my own first before looking it up on my GPS. I never asked my parents or teachers for help in school. I think there is a part of me that really likes being independent and self-sufficient.
I think as humans our relationship with how we view and interact with God is a conflicting battle between two things. Reverence and intimacy. It’s either we grew up seeing God as close by and a comforter but sometimes forget to see Him as the creator of the universe. We forget about the wonderment and amazement. If we aren’t careful we may even make Him and our relationship like one we can relate to (so something of this earth). Than there are some of us who were taught (whether as a child or recently) that God was far away. He was this God who is out doing big things and doesn’t have time for our little things.
I think the best relationships with God have and find a balance between the two. Because its true that God is a big and amazing God, but he also cares about the small things. For me I struggled with God caring about the small things. I felt like I had this intimate relationship with God, but I felt that He was too big to care about the small things in my life. When I have a little fever, or I am beyond exhausted, if I needed to receive a particular grade, or I was really hungry and didn’t have much to eat for dinner. Those are seemingly day-to-day basic and simple things. Than there were a little bigger things like when I was upset and hurt by something had told me, or other broken relationships, a loss of a loved one, or the stage and feeling of helplessness. I always thought God was too big to care or see me and what I was going through.
When I was heart broken I would think, “ok there are 27 million people enslaved around the world, millions of kids are starving to death, I live in such great wealth and blessing. I shouldn’t feel this way, or more that I feel this way but God doesn’t care as much because He has bigger things to do.” Although I don’t necessarily believe that that kind of thinking doesn’t have a place- I definitely thinks it gives perspective and humility- but I think we underestimate God and his character and abilities. We place a limit on who He is and His power. When we think we will be fine and can handle it, that it is not as big of a deal as some other people’s issues, we rely on ourselves and underestimate God.
One of my favorite stories is the story of Hagar. So we are going to read it Genesis chapter 16
Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian slave named Hagar; 2 so she said to Abram, “The Lord has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my slave; perhaps I can build a family through her.”
Abram agreed to what Sarai said. 3 So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian slave Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. 4 He slept with Hagar, and she conceived.
When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress. 5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You are responsible for the wrong I am suffering. I put my slave in your arms, and now that she knows she is pregnant, she despises me. May the Lord judge between you and me.”
6 “Your slave is in your hands,” Abram said. “Do with her whatever you think best.” Then Sarai mistreated Hagar; so she fled from her.
7 The angel of the Lord found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring that is beside the road to Shur. 8 And he said, “Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?”
“I’m running away from my mistress Sarai,” she answered.
9 Then the angel of the Lord told her, “Go back to your mistress and submit to her.” 10 The angel added, “I will increase your descendants so much that they will be too numerous to count.”
11 The angel of the Lord also said to her:
“You are now pregnant and you will give birth to a son. You shall name him Ishmael,[a] for the Lord has heard of your misery.
12 He will be a wild donkey of a man; his hand will be against everyone and everyone’s hand against him, and he will live in hostility toward[b] all his brothers.”
13 She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her:“You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen[c] the One who sees me.”
Part of me reading this story makes me angry. How could Hagar be mistreated like that? But I think we get to see a glimpse of a sweet side of God. I don’t have all the answers of why there is evil and why bad things happen. But God saw Hagar. He went out and found her, increased her blessings. Hagar responds with something so profound and says, “You are the God who sees me.” He sees us. Hagar was a slave, a minor character in the story of Abram later known as Abraham. Abraham! I mean the father of the Israelites. The guy who has the most insane faith- He almost killed his only son because He so trusted God. This Abraham we teach in Bible stories. Hagar isn’t like an Abraham. But God sees her. He saw her tears and her pain.
The God of the Universe sees your pain, he sees your dreams, he sees your daily simple needs and HE CARES. He knows us and our dreams. And he CARES. How much more could God do in our lives than us trying to do it ourselves? We do ourselves disservice when we think we can figure it out on our home. Why figure it out ourselves when the God who knows all things wants to be a part of it? What a God what a love.
If you aren’t convinced about a big God that cares and includes us in His story I wrote down some times in the Bible this was true:
- Jesus fed the thousands. (He definitely didn’t have to)
- God saved Israel over and over and over again. He saw them whining in the wilderness and provided for them every time.
- In Matthew 6 He talks about how he feeds the birds, “How much more does he care for us?”
- Genealogies- lists out all the people- doesn’t leave anyone out.
- Israel asks for a king, God gives them a king.
- Jesus reaches out to tax collectors
- God sends angels to tell shepherds to tell of Jesus’ birth (could have told a nobler group)
There are so many more examples. Moses and Joseph. I just think it is so cool we have such a big God that 1. Cares about the little things in our lives 2. So desires to include us in His story. However we have to keep praying and asking for God. We have to take the first steps and be proactive.
So I hope I talked to at least a couple of you today. I know it is a message for myself as well. A couple things I want you to take away is
- Start seeing God in a different way. Whether that be with more reverence or if you need to start seeing God as a God who cares. He is both, don’t forsake one for the other.
- A mentor of mine once told me “God moves when we pray because He wants us to know that it is Him at work, so His glory can be shown.” If you are hurt and broken, or tired and frustrated, or anxious and scared, or maybe everything is good… give it to Him in prayer.
- Maybe you don’t have a relationship with Him, you never wanted one or maybe you didn’t know much about God and never thought anything of it. I might ask if you feel so bold and up for a challenge to read the Word, talk with someone and see if it will change your life. I’ve lived life with God and I’ve lived life without Him (the good, the bad) and I will tell you there is nothing like Him. He is worth it all. A God that is so big yet cares so much, is worth living radically. Life with Him has been anything but boring. So see what learning about Him will do.
Thanks for stopping by