I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself.
A couple of weeks ago my family and I left the Virginia snow behind and headed south. We spent the week vacationing at Hilton Head Island, SC with the sand between our toes and enjoying the cool January ocean breeze. We had a great time! Taking time to slow down, rest, and marvel at the sea always seems to open my heart to God’s voice.
One day, we had a chance to take a trip to Savannah, GA. We visited the historic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. The cathedral was stunning. The outside was beautiful, but stepping into the sanctuary was breathtaking. The enormity an intricacy of everything from the tile work of the floor to the detail of the ceiling was amazing. Light poured in from the gorgeous stained glass. The size and beauty of the cathedral made me feel small. This perspective in a place of worship reminded me of the glory of God and of my smallness. I could feel the magnificence of the presence of God.
Later that day as I stood peering at the vast ocean, I couldn’t shake the feeling. The ocean has a way of humbling us and reminding us of our place in this world. I looked down at the sand between my toes and thought about each tiny grain of sand. All of our lives are just like those little grains of sand. So small, yet so detailed, crafted and treasured by God. Each grain, each life, is a tiny parcel of God’s story.
This humbling feeling of smallness reminded me of God’s grace. I am just one grain of sand, God’s love is the waves crashing onto the shore. It takes recognizing our own smallness to realize God’s power and glory. It’s contradictory, it doesn’t make sense, but that’s what grace is. God sees us, he knows us. He crafts each of us, and declares fearfully and wonderfully made. He loves us and he uses us, each little grain of sand, all working together, to create a beautiful picture of the horizon of His love.
The beauty of a sunset over the sea, the power of the rolling waves, the gentle ocean breeze, and each grain of sand between your toes, all echo God’s glory. Yes, they remind us of our smallness, but they remind us of God’s greatness. In Christ, smallness is redeemed as special. We can confidently admit that God and his glory is too great and too awesome to understand, but all that we have to do is calm and quiet ourselves before God. Humility is an important lesson, and something God is continuing to teach me. We can’t understand the depths of His love, power, or glory; we can simply look over the horizon of the sea or stand under the roof of a cathedral and let God humble us and lead us to His feet to soak in quiet wonder.