“God must often seem to us to be playing fast and loose with us. The adult must seem to mislead the child, and the Master the dog. They misread the signs. Their ignorance and wishes twist everything.” (C.S. Lewis)
I am such a small creature with such limited understanding. One of eight billion – 8,000,000,000! And some demographers estimate we are half of the total population that has ever lived since Adam and Eve, 16,000,000,000 in all.
News reporters should not be allowed to use words to describe such large numbers. Does it not seem easier to accept that our national debt is $31.12 trillion than to read our national debt is $31,120,000.000,000.00!? And it is growing by over $2,000,000,000,000.00, two trillion, per year or $5,480,000,000.00 per day! When you see $5.48 billion it just seems to not bother us so much as seeing the numbers stretching across the page.
However, I am writing about people today, not money. Eight BILLION is still a lot of people. Think of the crowds in which you have been numbered. You may have been one of 50 or 100 at a church or social club. If your church is a mega-one, maybe you were one of 5,000. You could recognize your children across the large auditorium and even see them wave to you.
Then you went to a concert with 25,000 attendees, and suddenly you could not find anyone you knew beyond those within earshot, maybe 20 feet (3.5 metres) away. A large crowd gathered in Washington, D.C. for a special occasion and the news outlets estimated your “group” was over 500,000 or maybe a million (1,000,000). All you could see was a “sea of faces” bobbing up and down, looking literally more like a lake than a mass of human beings.
So eight billion (8,000,000,000) are LOTs of faces!! And each one has his or her story; each one is troubled by a relationship or blessed by a colleague or family member; each one has had physical and emotional pains, and each has had offers of peace if he or she would take them. Each ONE.
Thus, when we ask God for a parking space and one suddenly opens up, do we accurately conclude the Creator of the Horsehead Nebula actually paid attention to our desire for a few minutes’ convenience? Or could it have been coincidence? Does the One who designed your DNA and spangled the universe with galaxies really care if your bird or lizard or dog dies? Would He not have more important things which require His attention?
When the apostle John encountered The Son of Man in Revelation 1, he was so overwhelmed by this Person that he totally blacked out and had to be revived. This revelation of Jesus continues through chapters 4, 5, 7, 13 and 19 to 21 and HE is amazing! He is beyond our full comprehension! The difference between us and an insect seems less than the difference between us and HIM!! He is more than our small minds can digest, and then we wonder why He sometimes does not jump when we say, “Do what I tell you to do.”
Yet, Jesus, Himself said that Father numbers the hairs of our heads! Such a mind with such vast power and yet such perception of the details!! So when we do not get the “answer” we demand from this Creator, we should not be dismayed, and conclude, “See, God does not exist because He did not do what I want.”
He knows; He understands; He cares more than we can grasp and loves you and me, us two out of 8,000,000,000 (or 16,000,000,000 depending on who you are counting). He knows and loves YOU more than you can imagine. So trust Him. Though he seems to be playing fast and loose with us, simply trust Him, believe in Him and receive His gift of eternal life. Then, someday, we will know fully even as we have been fully known. And thank Him for all things, even when He says, “No.”