Summary: Is your God to small to handle life’s problems?
A God Of Size
I was working with a church one time and there were some family difficulties that was bleeding over and causing strife between the Eldership and the Ministers on staff. One night in a staff meeting words were being exchanged between two Elders and when I offered some ill advised advice the slight disagreement escalated into a to nuclear war.
Anger filled the room like heavy smog as hurt feelings from other struggles began to get displaced on those in the room. Just when it looked like Armageddon had arrived, the pulpit minister suggested that we all just pause and let’s pray for God’s help and wisdom. Immediately one of the Elders snapped back, "Has it come to that?"
These were good men and I doubt that any of those men would have intellectually denied the strength of God. Everyone knows that God is omnipotent. We know it, yet we just don’t believe it! It’s in our reliance upon God’s power--or our lack of reliance- that we discover whether we truly believe in Him or not.
Is the Lord’s Arm Too Short?
In Numbers 11, the people of Israel begin whining about how good life had been back in Egypt. They had eaten all the manna casserole they could stand. They were craving the fish, cucumbers, melons, and spices from Egypt.
When Moses pleads with the LORD, he is told that the people will have meat for a whole month. Moses finds that hard to believe, given their large number and meager resources:
We read in verses 21-22 Here I am among six hundred thousand men on foot, and you say, "I will give them meat to eat for a whole month!" Would they have enough if flocks and herds were slaughtered for them? Would they have enough if all the fish in the sea were caught for them?
Apparently Moses forgot that God is a mighty God. He’d witnessed God’s power in the sending of the plagues and the crossing of the sea. His struggle was not how good God had been in the past but that He cared and that He could and would help him in this particular situation.
The Lord’s response was short and penetrating: "Is the LORD’S arm too short?" verse 23
In other words, "Don’t you believe I can pull it off, Moses?" And I believe that, if we were to be honest with one another, that’s the question we face: Can God take care of me no matter what my situation may be?
This question is asked by those trying to rebuild after a devastating loss –whether it’s death, divorce, or tragedy.
It’s asked by those who’ve been trapped by a sin and who are now trying to turn their lives around -which is similar to turning an ocean liner with an oar.
It’s asked by those who, in trying to put a marriage back together after months and years of conflict, feel like they’re trying to put together a jigsaw puzzle with a million pieces-while wearing mittens.
It’s asked by some who are trying to forgive people who have hurt them deeply when they don’t feel very forgiving and when there are no signs of repentance and sorrow on the part of those they’re trying to forgive.
Not only do we face the challenge of believing God’s power can help us in our personal and family lives, we find it difficult to credit God’s power to work in our church families.
How, for example, can we dare dream of evangelizing the world when the powers of evil seem so great-unless we put our hope in the God whose arm isn’t too short?
Power of Inner Strength
A few years ago when Stacy King was a rookie basketball player with the Chicago Bulls, he got in the game the evening Michael Jordan scored 69 points. After the game, when asked for his reflections on the night, he said, "I’ll always remember it as the evening Michael Jordan and I combined for 70 points." His humorous response pointed out that even though he was in the game, the real fire power came from the superstar.
Similarly, people who trust in the same God we read of in Scripture believe that they are indwelt by one who has more power than they can imagine. Paul encourages the church in Ephesus with these words found in Ephesians 3:14-19:
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.