Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Universal and Personal

One of the hardest things to understand about God is that He is simultaneously all-powerful and yet concerned with our well-being. Why would the most amazing entity in the universe care about us? How can God be so big and yet so close? We can't always confront this concept head-on, so we come up with lots of artistic ways to illustrate it. Some of my favorite hymns speak to the wonder that God is universal and yet personal.

Of the Father's love begotten
Ere the worlds began to be,
He is Alpha and Omega,
He the Source, the Ending He,
Of the things that are, that have been,
And that future years shall see
Evermore and evermore.

All things were created through Jesus; He is our mighty king. Yet he was begotten out of love, and love is his purpose for existing. God's acts of creation are not simply about power or even brilliance—they are about love. God made everything so that He could love it, perhaps even because He loved it before it existed. The God who is powerful enough to create the universe is also capable of knowing all of us inside and out. He is not only the beginning and the end—He is our beginning and end. God made us, and we cannot exist without Him. 

Creator of the stars of night
Thy people's everlasting light
O Christ, redeemer of us all
We pray you hear us when we call

The amazing thing is that Christ will hear us. The one who has the power to help us actually does hear us and care about us! So often we simply cannot find any help on this Earth. We are invisible to those who have the means to help us, and the people who do love us are powerless to rescue us from our troubles. But God is different. Unlike people who often become hardened and uncaring as they amass power, God is both all-powerful and all-loving. The One who created the stars is our everlasting light, and He will hear us when we call.

This is frequently the most comforting truth that my faith has to offer. I rarely find love and power in the same place on Earth, so it is a huge relief to know that I have a personal God and Savior who has universal power—power to help me, and power to save me. God's power is not mine to demand at any time or manner of my choosing, but I trust Him to use it for my ultimate good. And that is why I can sleep at night.

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