Meditation on Psalm 63:2

I was thinking the other day about what Psalm 63 says, “I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.” I don’t always make a point of thinking about God’s power; mostly I’m drawn to his goodness and kindness. I tend to see his influence most often in subtle things, so I most often tend to think of him as a quiet, careful adjuster of events, nudging and suggesting and moving everything gently into place, toward the ends he has in mind. I think a great deal of the time, he does work that way — in the in-betweens and routine actions of our lives, working in partnership with the will and intention and intelligence he put into humankind. God works with us. But that doesn’t look like power to me. I forget that God is immensely powerful and perfectly in control, so that he does what is needful and never and inch too far does he go.

But God does have immense power, however we perceive him day-to-day — his power made the world and sustains it, his power created reality as we know it. God is bigger than our reality, he is both inside and outside of it and it obeys him. He is the God who moves seas and raises mountains and halts armies. His power and nature are sometimes described as riding on the storm, with lightning as his arrows. Jesus, Son of God, once stood up in a boat in the middle of a storm and effectively said “knock it off.” And the storm stopped. Not died down, not faded away. Stopped. Turned off, like a switch, like the lights going out. Power? Indeed. Unbelievable power.

I’m trying to remember this. I’m thinking about it because I’ve been praying for change and guidance, and I catch myself hoping for small things. Expecting that God will move in and be an influencer, a benign manipulator, a gentle guide and guru. He may choose to do so. But then again, he may not. He may want to move in power, to do something astonishing and leave me in jaw-dropped wordless amazement and awe. Would I want to miss out on that? Do I not want to have faith that “impossible” doesn’t apply when God is involved? The world badly needs power, power that changes things, that creates and sustains good. I don’t want my own small faith to get in the way of that. Not when the world needs as much good as it can get; not when my own life often needs as much help as it can get, to keep coming together for good too.

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