Time to Pull Over?
Oh, magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together (Psalm 34:3, esv)!
When was the last time you drove cross-country, for hours, maybe through the night? It’s brutal watching the same road signs go by for hundreds of miles. It’s exhausting.
A few years ago my youngest son drove by himself from California to Illinois, and I kept telling him, “When your eyes glaze over and you get to that point that you can’t take another mile, pull over, man!”
The same is true in life. There are times when we need fresh eyes. We need to pull over and get a new perspective.
Often God lovingly pulls us over and makes us stop what we are doing—maybe through a health crisis, or the loss of a job or a loved one—because He knows we need to see things differently. Actually, He wants us to see Him differently.
Over and over in Scripture, when people came to a critical juncture in their lives, they got a fresh view of God. Moses got it. Elijah got it. Abraham, Isaiah, and Mary, the mother of Jesus, got it. And guess what? You’ve got to get it too.
Your Heavenly Father may be saying to you right now, “All right. Let’s get back to who I am.” Pulling over brings perspective.
That’s why the psalmist says,“Oh, magnify the Lord with me!” It’s not that we need to make God bigger than He is. We need to see God for His actual greatness. We need to see our problems in proportion to the majesty of Almighty God. Small God? Big problems. Big God? Small problems.
“Greatness” and “majesty” are good words to describe God, but an even better word is “transcendence.” The word transcendence means surpassing, beyond, above in excellence, in splendor, in majesty, in attribute, in beauty. Beyond all else. Beyond compare. It’s what you feel on a mountaintop, looking out over a valley or an ocean. It’s what you feel standing on the edge of a volcano at sunrise.
A few years ago, a good friend invited Kathy and me on a trip to Hawaii for his birthday. Now that’s a nice friend! And one of the things he wanted us to do was to go see the sun rise on the top of a volcano. Not really my idea of a good time at 5:00 in the morning, but since it was his birthday, I went.
We drove all the way to the top of this volcano. It was pitch black when we got up there. And all of a sudden, wham! The sun came up over the far side of the volcano. I was totally blown away. There were about sixty people there watching with us, but I couldn’t help myself. I shouted, “Great is the Lord! The whole earth is full of His glory!”
It was very quiet after that—with the exception of one lady, about 20 feet away, who said, “Amen!” It was quite the moment.
You need a fresh view of the greatness of God, or you’re not going to have the strength for what’s to come. Let God take you apart. See His majesty. Hear His Word. If you’re losing that sense of the transcendence of God, it’s time to pull over.
Holy God, I agree with the psalmist who wrote, “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised” (Psalm 48)! Thank You for lovingly pulling me over to give me a renewed view of Yourself. I confess that I am tempted to see my problems as big and You as small. But You are a good Father who knows how to give good gifts to Your children, so give me a fresh glimpse of Your transcendence today, I pray. In the matchless name of Jesus, amen.