I have a friend who gives a cool presentation. He starts with a picture of a house and tells you to imagine that’s your house in your neighborhood. He then zooms out and you see a statewide view. Then he zooms out more and you see half the world. Further out shows earth, then it shows how big earth is next to the other planets. Then he brings in the sun and you can barely see the earth. He then shows the sun compared to other stars until you can’t see the sun because the other stars are so big. Finally he shows a picture from the Hubble telescope of thousands of galaxies and says, “Don’t sweat the small stuff because you are the small stuff.”
Looking at how small we are in comparison to other parts of creation can make us feel insignificant. When you look at the vastness of the universe God created, it’s easy to wonder how God could care anything about us. Even David, who had no clue how small we really are wondered the same thing. Psalm 8:4 says, “Compared to all this cosmic glory, why would you bother with puny, mortal man or be infatuated with Adam’s sons?” (TPT) Like David, we can feel insignificant even in God’s eyes, but that’s not the truth.
Your life matters to God so much that He sent His son to die for you so you could spend eternity with Him. He created you with a purpose only you can fulfill. You are uniquely gifted in such a way that if you don’t do what God created you to do, it won’t get done. He takes great pleasure in you and knows the number of hairs on your head. If you’re feeling insignificant today or that God doesn’t care, take some time to think of the things God has trusted you with. When you begin to thank God today for the small things and large things He’s given you, your perspective changes.
Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash
Growing up, I spent countless hours playing Mike Tyson’s Punch Out on the Nintendo. The goal was always to go through the progression of fights so you could fight Mike Tyson. At times in the game, I would swing away at the characters hoping to connect a knock out punch. All of a sudden, my guy would drop his hands and start panting. All of a sudden, he became vulnerable in those fights, and I had to dodge punches to keep from getting knocked out. After a few seconds, his strength would return and I could start fighting again.
To be honest, I never beat Mike Tyson. I got to the point where I could get to him every time, and could even go several rounds with him. At some point, my character would get tired and Mike would knock me out. I would get so frustrated because the guy would get winded at the worst times, and there was nothing I could do about it. I actually can relate to that guy a lot more now that I’m getting older. Battles seem to get more difficult, and I seem to get winded more quickly.
There’s a famous portion of Scripture in Isaiah 40 that speaks to this. Israel had begun to think that God had abandoned them in their battles, and they were tired. God spoke and asked how they could think that. Then in verses 29-31, He said, “He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint” (NLT).
If you’ve been getting winded in your battles, and you’re starting to wonder where God is, these verses are for you today. Don’t get anxious and swing away, which only wears you out. Wait on and trust in the Lord. He will give you the strength you need to endure, and He will help you knock out your biggest opponent. Whatever your Mike Tyson is in life, God is there with you to help you fight it without growing weary. He is the everlasting God. He never grows weary or weak.
I’ve always heard that each one of us are either going through a difficult time, coming out of a difficult time, or are headed for one. Those seasons are a part of life, but that’s exactly what they are – seasons. They don’t last forever. I know that when I’m going through them, it sure feels like it’s never going to end. I start off questioning God as to why I’m going through it, but after a while, when it doesn’t let up, I start questioning God and His intentions. Has He forgotten me? Does He even care? Does He hear me?
David struggled with the same thoughts. I think that’s why we connect with the Psalms so we’ll. David was real. He didn’t hold back what he was thinking. He laid it all out there for God and us to read. How could he be so vulnerable? How could he be so open about what he was thinking and feeling? I don’t know, but I’m glad he did. It let’s me know that I’m not alone in my thoughts and feelings in difficult times. His vulnerability has allowed so many of us to be the same way in front of God.
One of the people who learned to be that way was Asaph. He was one of the top musicians in David’s time. He wrote several of the Psalms. In Psalm 77, he questioned, “Has the Lord rejected me forever? Will He never again be kind to me? Is His unfailing love gone forever? Have His promises permanently failed?” (NLT). Tough questions that I’m sure we all think on difficult times. While he struggled with these questions, he found a solution to them.
In verse 11, he writes, “But then I recall all you have done, O LORD; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago.” he then recalls all that the Lord has done for him and Israel. He remembers that there are seasons and this won’t last forever, but most importantly, He remembers the character of God. He does not forget us. He doesn’t leave us in difficult seasons forever. He is mighty to save, and He will come to your rescue. He’s done it before and He’ll do it again because He’s the same yesterday, today and forever.
Have you ever said, “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all”? There are times in life when nothing seems to go your way. The odds are stacked against you. Your burdens seem heavier than you can bear. The thought of quitting or giving up can seem like the best option during those times. I understand what it’s like to wonder what did you ever do to make the world be against you. If you’re living in that moment right now, there is hope.
Psalm 145:14 says, “God gives a hand to those who are down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit. (MSG)” Sometimes that fresh start is really what we need. God knows that. But a fresh start usually means an end to the last start. We want the fresh start, but we also don’t like to go through the closing of the previous one. It can often be painful. Walking through those difficult times is what helps create the new beginning though.
I like to tell people that the height of joy I know now is in direct proportion to the depths of sorrow I have faced. I can only experience as much joy that is equal to the suffering I’ve endured. It’s kind of like when jesus asked Peter which person loved Him more. Peter replied, “The one who has been forgiven most.” I believe the one who has experienced the most trouble can experience the greatest freedom. The one who has been forgiven the most is the most free. That person understands more than anyone where they were and what God has set them free of.
When we are under a heavy load or the world seems to be against us, we are in the prime spot to experience a greater depth of God’s grace. He does not want you to stay in the valley. He wants to help you up the mountain, but He understands that the valley is where we learn to appreciate the mountain top experiences. The valley is a dark place that blocks your view of the horizon. Without having been there, you cannot appreciate the light or view from the top of the mountain. There is purpose in the hard times. There are lessons to be learned when we are down on our luck.
God is not content to leave you down on your luck or without hope. His desire is to give you a hand, a nudge or push to get you where He wants you. He needs to close the last chapter before He opens the next. A fresh start is what God offers. Giving us a clean slate from our past is His specialty. He is there for you to help pull you out from under the load that weighs you down so you can experience freedom like never before. He wants you to experience joy like you’ve never known. He wants to take you from the place where you can’t see tomorrow to the mountain top where you have 360 degree views of the horizon. Trust Him to be faithful to His promise in Psalm 145.