Two prayer rooms served as sanctuaries for me during my college years. One on campus—for late night weeping, journaling sessions, and desperate pouring of myself before the Lord. And one off campus—at the home of my mentors—this one quiet, a place to be still and rest in the presence of the Lord which so clearly filled it. I spent many hours praying in that room, my legs crossed on the white couch, a cup of tea in the yellow-lined rooster mug in my hand or empty on the floor. I learned a lot in that room, both in my times with the Lord and from my beloved mentor. A prayer she oft-repeated has stuck with me: God, you are big, and I am little. Big God. Little me.
Through the season of being confined to my bed with mono and my own depression. Through relational conflicts, loneliness, and questions about the future. Through my mom’s cancer diagnosis. You are big, and I am little. Big God. Little me.
I’ve heard some express a sense of distance or fear when they consider the “big-ness” of God, consider his sovereignty, or think of him “in the heavens.” It's the "Who am I?" thought, when you stand at the top of a mountain or watch the waves pound against the shore. They sense the inexpressible level of the discrepancy between his strength and our weakness, his immensity and our minuteness—and they cower in fear or intimidation, concerned God will either overlook them or smite them.
But this little prayer of surrender and trust is not like this at all. It also isn’t throwing my hands up in the air, unthinkingly and passively accepting whatever God might throw my way. In it, I found solace in God’s immensity, that he was on his throne. For it was not a matter of distance, that God is far and above me, it was a matter of power, held by a loving Father, who could wield it on my behalf. His strength, his “big-ness” are comforts, not threats, because they are harnessed by his love for his children.
I find myself breathing to the steady rhythm of this prayer. Big God. Inhale. Little me. Exhale—letting go of the weight I drag on myself to figure everything out, to solve all my own problems, to bear my own burdens. It brings freedom, this difference in size. It brings security.
He might be big, but he is for me. He is powerful, so I can trust him. I am little, but this releases me from my attempts to control and play god in my own life. I might be small, but I am secure in the hands of a strong and loving God.