I am writing this blog on my iPhone onboard a cruise ship out on the ocean somewhere between Ketchikan, Alaska and Vancouver, BC. It is the last day of a wonderful cruise that our wonderful church (Community Fellowship of West Chicago) gave to us as we stepped down from ministry there last August.
It is Sunday morning and I feel diminished, which is pretty ironic after eating all that one does on a cruise. Diminished because I’m looking at a vast expanse of water from outdoors on deck 11, with the wind howling and the deck chairs skittering. Diminished because this ship could disappear at sea and 2,000 souls could go into eternity. Diminished because I am so small compared to the vast Creator who by a mere word spoke this ocean into existence.
Yet this feeling of being diminished also generates a great sense of security because this vast Creator is my Father, and He loves me. There is an old hymn written back during WW1 by Fred Lehman, the third stanza of which captures this sense that I have right now:
Could we with ink the ocean fill, and every stalk on earth a quill; were the whole sky of parchment made, and every man a scribe by trade. Were we to write the love of God above, would drain the ocean dry; nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
I read somewhere that the author adapted this verse from words pencilled on the wall of a patient’s room in a mental hospital. No doubt the original writer felt diminished as well but took comfort in the security of God’s love in Christ.
Do you feel diminished today by your circumstance or by mental anguish? All the better to bask in the security of a vast God who loves you vastly in Jesus.