He Holds the Universe
“He’s got the whole world in his hands, he’s got the whole world in his hands!”
If you grew up in church, you probably remember jumping up and down and gleefully singing out these words in a Sunday school class surrounded by other kids. You probably marveled together with wonder as a Sunday school teacher explained to you that God was THAT big; big enough to hold our whole world in the palm of his hands.
But somewhere along the way into adulthood, we begin to loose our wonder. Instead we begin to wonder, “Is God even big enough to handle my personal world?” Most of us don’t say it that bluntly, but our anxiety and fear expose our secret doubt. When things seem out of control or bad things happen, we begin to speculate, “Maybe God isn’t big enough after all.”
Never in my lifetime, has this doubt been more evident worldwide than right now. With the spread of the Coronavirus, it seems like the whole world is either in crisis or on the brink of crisis. People are panicking, regulations are being put into effect, hand sanitizers are worth more than gold, and the slightest runny nose from my two year old instantly makes me doubt my decision to have taken him out in public days before the social distancing was encouraged.
If we doubt that God is big enough for our individual problems, how much anxiety is created when we are faced with a worldwide problem?
As I sat down to pray last night, I was reminded of a sermon on prayer that I had heard recently about starting every prayer by acknowledging the sovereignty and “otherness” of God. I stilled my heart for a moment and began to ponder all that God holds together.
It’s easy for us to think that our world is the center of Gods world, and yet suddenly I was reminded of how small our world actually is in light of all of Gods creation. We are just one planet, in one galaxy, amidst what is believed to be somewhere between 100-200 BILLION galaxies.
That’s when the familiar Sunday school song emerged from the archives of my memory... “He’s got the whole world in his hands...” but suddenly I’m in awe of the fact that our “whole world” is actually just a tiny spec in God’s hands. While the whole world seems massive to us, it is not massive to God; it is a tiny part of his vast creation.
But even though we are a tiny part of his creation, God makes it perfectly clear that we are a part he deeply cares for.
“That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food and drink, or enough clothes to wear. Isn’t life more than food, and your body more than clothing? Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
Worry and fear may dominate our world right now, and it’s easy to get swept up into it ourselves, but we don’t need to be people of fear. Jesus reminds us, “Letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
Romans 8:6 NLT
I don’t know about you, but I much prefer life and peace! As Christians, we get to be people who surrender our sinful inclinations towards fear and anxiety, and marvel with childlike wonder at how big our God truly is. Let us not be afraid to faithfully proclaim that, even in the midst of uncertainty, we have a God who has the whole world in his hands.