Beyond You

Take a breath.

A big one.

Now let it out.

Do it again.

It’s going to be okay.

Welcome to our final pause of the season. It’s been a joy to meet you here every week. I’ve needed this spacer in my life more than you know. Thanks for joining me for today’s contemplation.

It all started with a library book

A couple months ago, my son checked out a book about space. We were lounging around, thumbing through our book piles, and he began to bubble-over with the Did You Know’s of an excited ten-year-old.

We were captivated. Space is mind-blowing.

He was reading about Saturn. Did you know it wasn’t until the 1600s that Galileo Galilea first discovered that the planet Saturn has rings?

The planet had been observed since ancient times, but the rings were unknown. Technically, Galileo thought they were maybe moons or ear-like formations, but he knew something was different.

And it wasn’t until 1979 that our first spacecraft to Saturn arrived after over three years of travel.

Several missions followed, providing us with pictures of this staggering planet surrounded by its heart-clutchingly beautiful rings, a planet so enormous that 76 earths could fit inside.

Here’s what dawned on me:

Saturn’s rings have been there, beautiful and glorious, all this time—whether we could see them or not.

Don’t you find it strange that scientists never find an end to the complexity of everything around you?

We get better instruments to see with, and we uncover worlds we never knew existed.

The larger (or smaller!) we go, the more intricately brilliant God’s creation is.

God formed every facet, whether or not we would ever see it.

That’s just who He is.

“The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.”

Psalm 19:1

Literally and figuratively, we are not the center of the universe. God is greater than you and I could ever fathom. He exists outside of time. And His plans and purposes are expansively elaborate.

Why Smallness is Comforting

Every time I move forward in an area of my life, I tend to get bombarded with discouragement.

Who am I to think I can actually make progress? I’m just going to embarrass myself.

It feels a lot like being alone on a stage, squirming in the spotlight in front of the world as it waits for me to fail.

Here’s something that helps me tremendously:

I’m not the main character in this story. I’m an extra. This whole thing is about the Lord.

You and I have a role to play and we are called to follow our Director, but we don’t have the main role. We aren’t the center. We aren’t the main characters.

He is, He always was, and He always will be.

There’s an elaborate plan unfolding but you and I are too small to wrap our minds around it. And God knows that.

Instead, He calls us to trust Him with the infinite, and to focus on the task He’s laid in front of us.

A Purpose Beyond Us

We are in God’s hands.

Yes, He is working on us, but the true end is to work through us.

Fixing us is not the pinnacle of His achievement. God has things for us to do.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10

I love this verse because of its implications.

God didn’t just randomly create you. He created you for a purpose. He has specific things in mind for you to do while you are here.

Follow with me:

If God, your Creator, truly knows you, seeing you for everything that you are, AND He still prepared plans for you to do, that means there is hope.

Why would He plan good works for you to do if you were hopeless?

It brings me much comfort to know that God’s got a plan outside of just getting me healthy. That all of this is bigger than me and my progress.

We are part of His complex plan to push back the chaos, in our own lives and then in the world around us.

He sees value in you. Something beautiful and usable, fully surrendered. He’s written a part for you to play.

It might feel like a huge risk—to hope, to trust that God is big enough to handle it all, that He wants us to be part of His story of redemption. 

It’s both the most terrifying and the safest risk you will ever take.

God is not intimidated by our flaws and deficiencies. He works through us despite them all and the glory goes to Him, where it deserves to be. And He changes us along the way.

Our job is only to be obedient. He’s the one in charge of the results.

Let me leave you with some parting thoughts.

  • Run quickly to the Lord. When you’ve drifted into forgetfulness and feel out on your own, it doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. “Lord, Help!” is a beautiful and well-worn prayer said by many a desperate saint. It’s okay if you need to say it every 5 seconds.
  • Flood your mind with God’s word. Meditate on truth. Let it inform the way you think and feel. Let it remind you daily of who you are and how big your God is. 
  • Create time to be still. Slow down. Make room in your life to listen. Take the time to remember your smallness. Let it bring you peace. Put your world in God’s hands and trust Him, over and over again. 
  • Be faithful in the little things. One step at a time, moment by moment, learn to follow your Director. He will make something beautiful out of your life. 

Friends, it’s been an honor.

As I mentioned last week, I will be taking some time off of blogging for the months of July and August, but I will be back in the fall. I might check in, just not officially. Scroll down and click Follow to stay in the loop.

You can also follow me on Instagram at alifeatrest. One of my goals this summer is to get my page going and fill it with beauty, hidden in the ordinary.

“Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”

Ephesians 3:20-21

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