by Annette Bridges. © 2006. All rights reserved.
We seem size-obsessed in America. Sometimes we say bigger is better, while other times we argue slim is best. We long for big paychecks and houses, but we love slim waistlines and cell phones. When we want new and fresh ideas, we encourage big thinking. But I suspect many women would agree that when it comes to gifts, “Good things come in small packages!”
Perhaps size does indeed matter.
However, when one considers the Scriptural story of the shepherd boy David in his battle against the Philistine warrior Goliath, bodily size was of no consequence to the outcome. In fact, one could say David’s victory over Goliath was in spite of Goliath’s enormous physical proportions (1 Samuel 17:23-50).
Then in another biblical setting, when tax collector Zacchaeus, a “wee little man,” according to the children’s rhyme, was trying to get a glimpse of Jesus, his small stature didn’t stop him. He simply climbed up into a sycamore tree to get a better point of view (Luke 19:2-9).
Both examples teach me valuable lessons about size. In the David and Goliath story, it wasn’t physical size that mattered but rather the size of David’s faith and courage. And Zacchaeus didn’t use his shortness as an excuse when he had trouble seeing over the heads and shoulders of the crowd before him. Although his physical size was small, his determination and creativity were huge. These stories teach me that no matter how big the problem I face, I must not be too quick to give up — that the size of my hope and persistence must be big to win the day.
Yes, these stories assure me that there are no obstacles too great to overcome. The Apostle Paul offers this same assurance. He asks: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Then he answers: “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, or angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).
I find much comfort and promise in these words of Paul. Whenever I’ve felt challenged to the point of almost giving up, I’ve reminded myself of the expanse of God’s love for me as his beloved child. This fact brings the reassurance that God’s love is vast, immeasurable and without limits. Knowledge of God’s infinite love transforms and heals — removing and destroying fear. I have found it impossible to feel completely and totally loved by God and afraid at the same time. And many times in my life, when fears were no longer consuming my outlook, healing answers came into view and changed the course of my life.
So I venture to say to anyone, that with an understanding of God’s infinite love embracing and shepherding your every thought and action, there is no hill too steep, no ditch too deep, no distance too far, no trail too long, no river too wide, no hurdle too high, no wave too big, no job too tough, and no problem too difficult. As children of God, we are each equal recipients of a treasure trove of spiritual skills and abilities that equip us to meet and master any “Goliath” and enable us to find the “sycamore tree” that lifts our spirits to a new and higher perception.
What matters most about size is where we place our confidence — the material, transient and changeable or the spiritual, eternal and dependable. Although there may be many theological points to explore and understand, I don’t think any is greater than the breadth, depth and scope of God’s love for each one of us. You can believe in it, trust it and count on it. The size of God’s love is what matters most!