Experience the Vastness of God

By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Lauren Geppert
By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Amy Owen
By Jill Asibelua
By Madi McGraw
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Jeremy Varnell
By Norm Headlam
By Kristi Herring
By Alban Snider
By Sissy Mathew
By Glenda Root
By Oscar Camacho, Jr
By Shannon Pugh
By Al Palamara
By Don Robb
By Mike Pope
By Melanie Mechsner
By Kyla Mikusek
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Ruby King
By Shannon Lewis
By Susan Weiser
By Charles Pierce
By Chase Studdard
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Jodie Niznik
By Tiffany Stein
By Barry Jones
By Erin Hargrave
By Katie Geurin
By Bryan Eck
By Ginger Holland
By Tricia Kinsman
By Jason Stein
By Bob Downey
By Nat Pugh
By Sarah Kemper
By Lynda Reynolds
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Lindsey Sobolik
By Scott McClellan
By Michelle Tibbatts
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith

Last night, I had a dream that woke me up afraid. I was not running for my life or falling off a cliff. It was simply an experience of vastness

I was suspended in the absolute middle of the night-bound ocean, under the surging water, in the dead center between the bottom of the ocean floor and the black surface. The whole ocean, all the Pacific, it seemed, was lit from within like a swimming pool at night — a world of hazy-yellow fog. There were no fish, no whales, no creatures or plants or coral or geological formations. It was like being a floating particle of dirt in one of those tanks at Sea World that contains the enormous orca whales. And because I was that particle of dirt, I wasn’t fearful of being eaten or even of drowning; I was much too insignificant for such dramatic things. I was nothing but a self-aware blip, something just big enough to perceive its utter tininess.

Somehow, even though I was miles and miles from the surface of the water, I was able to swim to the top. When my vision broke the surface, things were worse than before. All was waves and blackness, everything vanishing into an infinity of distance.  

I woke up praying.  

My dream has made me cozier today. I curl up tightly on my couch. I breathe in the walls of my house; they feel safe. Even the trees in my yard, which are tall, have boundaries I can see, and so I enjoy them for the way they reach into the sky…and then end.

“You hem me in, behind and before,” the psalmist sings (Psalm 139:5). We don’t realize how hemmed in we are most of the time. Even our bodies hem us in. Floating in that vast expanse of water, I couldn’t see my arms or legs or feel my hair undulating around my cold neck. I had no shape. Today, I relish my fingers and toes; I bask in my skin and how I can reach out and put a flat palm to the painted brick wall of my sunroom.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb” (vs. 13), the singer continues. Here is Vast God, with impossibly delicate instruments, knitting together the microscopic soul in an infinitesimal body. He hems me in physically, but also mentally and spiritually. My limits are internal, too. I have blessed, blessed limits of comprehension and perception and understanding.

But not God:

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you. 

This is a God who is not swamped by darkness or distance or time. He IS the darkness, is the dawn, is the depths, and the heights, and he graciously sets my parameters.  

Of course, most of the time I’m too busy to live blessedly in this containment. I see other people, but I don’t see them as creatures knit together and hemmed in by Vast God. We all struggle to connect sometimes, and maybe this is why. I may not have much of anything in common with someone else, but we absolutely share this: a shared tininess in the presence of, well, most everything else. And if I accept my size, I can remain eye-level with you, with her, with him, with them, instead of always trying to see over and outside the walls God has erected.

He hems me in, behind and before. I turn towards you and towards others, all of us bound together in this common enclosure.

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