It's Good to Feel Small

Yesterday afternoon, as I was picking up my kindergartener from school, the entire city of San Diego lost power. (We eventually learned it was the whole SDG&E service area, which covers several SoCal counties--over 5 million people.) Everything shut down. No stores, no gas stations, no traffic lights, no air conditioning. Most people hung out in their yards, trying to stay cool on one of the hottest days SD has seen in a while. Families came together. The one parent who always watches TV and the kids who never turn off the Xbox all joined their families outside.

When was the last time this much conversation took place? I thought as we walked down our street to the park. I leaned over to my husband and asked, "Think we'll be able to see stars tonight?"

We enjoyed our time at the park (a special treat for the boys to have their dad come!) and returned home to grill hot dogs. The sun went down and we lit candles. After the boys fell asleep, Jonathan and I went out to the balcony to stargaze. There's the big dipper! Is that one a planet? Jonathan taught me how to tell the difference between a planet and a star. "Only stars twinkle," he explained. Most of the neighbors stayed up barbecuing and talking well into the night. What a great day.

I heard once that if we don't honor the Sabbath, God will find a way to give us one. Last night was definitely one of those times. Everything was still.

With a new sense of closeness to my husband and boys, and also realizing the distance between us and our nearest friends (without cars, 8 miles is a long way!), I looked up at those stars, and couldn't help but feel small. So many families live in this neighborhood. So many neighborhoods in San Diego County. So many counties on this continent... And yet, what is the earth in the galaxy?

He made it all.

"My God is so big
So strong and so mighty
There's nothing my God cannot do!"

The power came back on late last night and this morning life resumed as usual. Before opening e-sword I fiddled around on facebook for a few minutes, and clicked on a link to this comic. Interesting idea, right? Too bad I haven't the slightest understanding of the "information theory," much less what a "bit of entropy" is. No worries--Google to the rescue! (Never wonder anything again!) So I found a little article on Information Theory for Dummies which turned out to be lightyears beyond my intelectual grasp.

Wow, back to feeling small.

"How can a man be in the right before God?
If one wished to contend with him,
one could not answer him once in a thousand times.
He is wise in heart and mighty in strength
—who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded?—
he who removes mountains, and they know it not,
when he overturns them in his anger,
who shakes the earth out of its place,
and its pillars tremble;
who commands the sun, and it does not rise;
who seals up the stars;
who alone stretched out the heavens
and trampled the waves of the sea;
who made the Bear and Orion,
the Pleiades and the chambers of the south;
who does great things beyond searching out,
and marvelous things beyond number."
(Job 9.2-9)

It's good to feel small. There's safety in knowing our Creator is sovereign and we are not. One of my favorite, most comforting verses in Scripture is Romans 9.20-21: "Who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, 'Why have you made me like this?' Has the potter no right over the clay?" Because He is sovereign, I can sing with David,
The LORD is my rock
and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock,
in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation,
my stronghold. (Ps 18.2)

What moments in life do you feel small? 

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