Life is full of oxymorons, isn’t it? Contradictory terms. For example:
We sit on genuine imitation leather chairs, eat jumbo shrimp and vegetarian meatballs, cooked over synthetic natural gas. If we’re in a rush, we may eat a cold hotdog, while we’re watching a seriously funny show. We’re given an original copy of an exact estimate and the salesman was deceptively honest. A small crowd showed up for the long briefing on government efficiency and military intelligence. It got pretty ugly. A new tradition in business is a friendly takeover by the loyal opposition and it’s often the result of negative growth.
And I’m not going to mention others that were suggested like: mature man or quiet woman! Not going there!
Even in our faith, we’re taught servant leadership. We’re taught in the Bible that the first shall be last and we keep our lives by losing it. But I think the most powerful oxymorons….the terms that on the surface are so totally contradictory…are the ones that apply to our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus Christ. On the one hand, we have a God Who is the Great I AM. Everything that is in existence is here because He spoke it into existence. Every galaxy, every planet, every neuron is perfectly ordered and set into motion by His power. And yet, He seeks us out to have a relationship.
Jesus Christ was with the Father at creation and has always existed with all power and might in His hands. His glory is beyond human comprehension. Thousands upon ten thousands of angels worship Him saying Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!1 And yet…He humbled Himself and became a man, suffering inconceivable torture out of His love for someone as weak and pathetic as me.
Those two images are oxymorons. They contradict each other. How can a God so holy and righteous want to be intimately involved in every situation in my life?
But we need both, don’t we? We need that God who is so powerful. I ran across a meme the other day (author unknown): “God closed the lion’s mouths for Daniel, parted the Red Sea for Moses, made the sun stand still for Joshua, opened the prison for Peter, gave Sarah a baby, and raised Lazarus from the dead… Nothing you face today is beyond His control.” Are we thankful for that?
But you know what? I do need a God who is all-powerful. But I also need One Who “walks with me and talks with me, and tells me I am His own.”2 One Who says Come to me, all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.3 One Who says I am with you always, even to the ends of the age4…I will never leave you or forsake you…Do not be afraid5…I go to prepare a place for you6…and on and on He speaks peace over us.
So, tonight, when you lay your head on your pillow, thank God that He neither slumbers nor sleeps, that He will keep the world in order and protect you while you are unconscious. But also, thank Him that when you open your eyes tomorrow morning, He is there to greet you before you put your feet on the floor….that He has surrounded you with His love, even while you sleep.
In the morning, when you walk out that door, thank the Lord that He is omniscient and He knows everything that you’re going to face before you get there…and that He’s promised…good or bad…to be not only with you but in you because of His infinite love. Thank Him…for being the perfect, powerful, infinite, loving, full-of-grace….oxymoron!
Johns Creek Baptist Church
2”In the Garden”, C. Austin Miles