On occasion, someone will ask me, essentially, “What am I supposed to do with this burden, and how am I supposed to handle this one?” Once in a while, one of my most exasperated friends will ask, “Does He really know what He is doing?”
My response is almost always the same, “If God were small enough for me to understand, He wouldn’t be big enough to be my God.” Let’s take a moment and consider the scope of His job description.
God’s Job Description
Let us say that there are approximately 7 billion people, many who know Him and many who don’t, on the face of his planet, along with a few score of dozen trillion snails, whales, sparrows, worms, ants, bees, etc., etc., etc., each of whom may continue to exist only as long as He keeps them in mind. Matthew 10:29 tells us that the Father is aware of each sparrow that falls to the ground, and that probably means each ant, bee, termite and earthworm as well.
Now, let us say that in our little corner of the universe there are perhaps at least a handful of other planets which may support life, including lizards, sparrows, snails, microbes, etc., and that they may have the same population density of divergent species that our planet has. Yes, the snails may look more like perambulating chrome doorknobs, but, they contain the spark of life. A little arithmetic and the numbers get insanely high really quickly. Add to that the realization that He has to keep the planets from bumping into each other, keep asteroids from slamming into things, and then arrange to have Helen meet and marry Tony and watch them and their kids.
What Else Does God Do?
Well, in addition to watching the animated life forms in the universe, keeping an eye on the movement of planets, the growth of plants, the balance of light and dark, and the gift of rain, there probably isn’t really a great deal He does from day to day. However, given the stuff that fills His days, it is remarkable He can take a few moments and listen to our prayers, be there for us and make us feel as if we are the most important thing He has going, He can provide a feeling of warmth and security, and He can whisper a response to us in our time of need.
Then we wonder why He isn’t much more rapid in His response to our requests for this, that, or the other. When He and I are in conversation, it has been my experience that He has four answers to my prayers, “Yes”, “No”, “Wait, I have something better planned”, and “You have got to be kidding me!”
The “Wait” responses tend to be the most fun as the results are typically nowhere near what I had requested, they are significantly better. This, in turn, leads me to ask, “How did you manage to pull that one off?” Frequently, the responses require lots of planets and stars to align, the phase of the moon and the alignment of the sun, to be in harmony, the breeze has to be from the North, and 472 random things must all be in complete rhythm while appearing to be totally unrelated.
Again, if He were small enough for me to understand, He would not be big enough to be my God.
This became obvious to me while I was in the process of learning to look at life through other than the bottom of a glass. The shorthand version of the first three steps of the various 12-step programs distill down to, “I can’t, He can, I think I’ll let Him.”
The Start of Something New
I started my career with alcohol at the time I reached political majority and rapidly deteriorated into an alcohol-dependent-still-high-functioning alcoholic. It was during this period when I found out about the “You have got to be kidding me!” response to prayers. These prayers usually took the form of, “Just get me out of this one, and I won’t ever do that again.” Of course, He ( and I ) both knew that I would do it again, and again, and again.
Finally, on Pearl Harbor Day ( Not the true day, but I needed an anniversary date I could remember ) I had had enough, all the stars aligned, He pulled off a small miracle, and working with His grace, I drew a sober breath and didn’t die. The first led to a second, and a third, and now some score plus of years later, I am still drawing a sober breath, whether it contains any sanity is up for debate.
How Did it Happen?
I do not know what sort of miracle He worked. I had tried a very large number of times to quit drinking on my own, but, each time was followed by failure or relapse ( an acronym meaning, “Reliving Every Low And Painful Sequence Exactly” ).
I asked and He did it, I have no idea how. Of course, my wife and mother had assailed the gates of Heaven with hundreds of Rosaries, but, it was not until I asked with a firm resolve, a humble heart, and a teachable attitude that He could work His wonders.
I have no idea how, or to some extent why, He did what He did. All I know is He took the cravings away, he took the shame away, and He took the distortion of life through the bottom of a glass away. If I could understand how He managed to do that, He would not be large enough to be my God.