I have what you might call a time management problem. I honestly can’t remember when this wasn’t an issue for me. As noble as my intentions can be, I’m almost always over committed and under prepared. This type of a lifestyle may work for some people, but I have never exactly become comfortable with the issue. In fact, you can guarantee that it will always stress me out and most likely cause me to make an irrational decision or two. Over the years, my lack of time management has placed me in several of these difficult positions. The worst of which, however, may have been last May as my first year of Seminary came to a close and I was desperately trying to prepare for final exams. It was here that I was introduced, once again, to the magnitude of our God.
To tell you the truth, the final exams in and of themselves wouldn’t have been that large of a problem. It’s when one adds about nine or ten other variables to the issue that it becomes the perfect opportunity to stress someone out in such a manner that I was experiencing. Let me give you a breakdown of what my last three weeks of school looked like. I had been assigned 2300 pages of reading between my three classes at the beginning of the semester. Now, three weeks before final exams I still had around 2100 pages left to read. I worked out a schedule and found that I would need to read 100 pages a day for the remaining three weeks. Bring on the stress! The first night I set down to do my reading at about 11:00 in the evening I got a knock at my front door. It was my brother visiting from Florida. I love my brother and hadn’t seen him in several months, but this just wasn’t the best week he could have picked to surprise me with a visit. Although we had a great time, one week later, my brother left town and I was now 700 pages behind on my new reading schedule. On top of this I was studying for my Greek exam. To be fully prepared for the final exam I had to be able to translate I John 1:5- 2:14 with no study helps. I also had over 120 vocabulary words to memorize in one week… no problem. To add to the complications, my wife’s birthday happened to fall on the Wednesday before final exams. We went to see The Phantom of the Opera performed at a local theater. It was a great time, but still another activity scheduled during that hectic week. I know that it must be hard for you to believe that anyone would have willingly made this situation worse but I, in all of my wisdom, was able to do just that. The following weekend I had not only planned a surprise party for my wife, but also invited several friends from out of state to show up for the event. This also was a wonderful time but once again it added another level to the stress as we hosted friends for the weekend. By now I am sure that you are as ready for this list to be over as much as I was. I do, however, have to mention that I also prepared for and delivered a message to a youth group, was continually writing devotions every night for the web site, made a trip to Georgia and Virginia in those three weeks, and had car trouble that lasted three days in the shop and cost almost 1000 dollars. It was in light of all of this that I experienced the most stress I had ever dealt with at one time.
One night towards the end of my three wretched weeks I was able to sit down with the Lord and offer my problems to Him. I opened my Bible to Isaiah chapter 40 and was comforted by the 12th verse of that chapter. It simply states, “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of His hand, and marked off the heavens by the span, and calculated the dust of the earth by the measure, and weighed the mountains in a balance, and the hills in a pair of scales?” For as long as I can remember, my favorite characteristic about the Lord has been His greatness. It is within the context of my Lord’s size and strength that every other characteristic is magnified. Here is a God that created the night sky and the oceans. With the sound of His voice He fashioned the universe into existence. How great must the love, forgiveness, and compassion of such an awesome God be! If anyone was able to comfort me in the midst of so much stress, it would be the creator of our universe. As I read this verse over, the Lord showed me four different characteristics of His greatness and how He longed to assist me in my stress.
The prophet Isaiah proclaims that God “measured the waters in the hollow of His hand.” It was from this phrase that I discovered no problem is too large for my God to handle. I often view my problems as a large ball that I can barely get my arms around. I struggle to carry this stress and these issues around with me, but often times, find that they are simply too large for me to handle on my own. Imagine, however, placing these problems in the hands of Him who measured the waters in the hollow of one of His own! As large as your problems may appear to be, know that they have no choice but to disappear in comparison to the size of our Lord’s hands. All we must do is offer them to Him. I Peter 5:6, 7 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under the might hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.”
The second part of this verse explains that He “marked off the heavens by the span of His hand.” The word span is actually an ancient Hebrew measurement. If you hold out your hand and stretch your fingers as far apart as they will go, you will find that the Hebrew span is the distance from the tip of your thumb to the tip of your little finger. In light of this we must have complete faith in our God’s ability to handle multiple problems at once. I couldn’t begin to handle all the stress and responsibilities that were facing me in those last three weeks of school. Regardless of the amount of stress you may be currently facing, know that our God, who measured the heavens with the span of His hand, is more than able to reach out and grasp all or your worries with one single hand. Once again though, we must first give up our feeble attempts to control these problems.
Not only has He measured the waters in the hollow of His hand and marked off the heavens by the span of His hand, but He has also “calculated the dust of the earth.” As I was studying my Greek vocabulary and grammar, there were times that I was sure I would never comprehend it. Unfortunately, life’s problems often become much more difficult to understand than Greek. We may never completely understand why certain issues come our way, why loved ones die, why friends turn on us, or the many other variables life can throw at us. I do know, however, that our God can comprehend all of this and more. He who knows the number of dust molecules on this planet can surely understand Greek and life’s more difficult situations. It is with this knowledge that I find comfort in bringing my most difficult problems to the Lord. He may not always reveal the reasoning at first, but He will always provide wisdom and comfort. James 1:5 says, “But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”
Finally, Isaiah reminds us our God is so big that He “measured the mountains and the hills in scales.” The issues that we face on a daily basis are not merely big, numerous, and sometimes difficult to understand, but they are often very heavy on our hearts. I can’t begin to imagine just how heavy some of the problems students face today would be if we could assign a physical weight to them. I encourage you to remember that no problem will be too heavy for our Lord to handle. It is He who so dramatically weighed the mountains in a pair of scales. Surely He is able to take the heaviest of problems from us if we would simply offer them to Him. Christ Himself instructs us to bring these problems to Him, explaining that He would willingly take on the weight of our pain if we would just allow Him to do so. Matthew 11:28, 29 says, “Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My load is light.”
I wonder what problems, trials or pains you may be facing today. I encourage you to reflect on the greatness of our Lord. He was faithful to carry me through my final week of exams and I have complete faith that He will do so for you too. There is only one stipulation… we must first give our problems over to Him. How long will we continue to struggle under the weight of our problems, become overwhelmed by the difficulty of them, fail to control them numerous different issues, and strain to keep our arms around them? When will we simply turn them over to our God who is more than capable of handling the most difficult of issues?
Originally Published: June 30, 2003