Big God, Big Faith

Focus Scripture: Psalm 116:6

Throughout my studies, I have had opportunities to reflect on how people come to believe what they believe. I conclude that the way people view God depends in large part on the issues they bring to the table and the lenses they use to reflect on what they see. Sometimes, the thing that separates the groups is their answer to this question: How big is their God?

People in one of those groups do not place limits or boundaries on God. They consider themselves to be made in the image of God and strive to please God in everything they say and do. For them God is infinite, almighty, and all knowing. Not only that; God is so loving that he sent Jesus to redeem them from sin and has poured out his love into their hearts through his Holy Spirit.

People in this reflective group are those who believe that God exists and rewards those who diligently seek Him. In other words, this group of people has extraordinary faith. Accounts of such belief can be found throughout the biblical text. Some people might refer to such faith as childlike. And that is just fine, for, with childlike awe, they can place their trust in a God who is big enough to see what they cannot see and lead them in the direction for their good and God’s glory.


Omnipresent God, thank you for being big enough to supply all my needs. Amen.

Bent But Not Broken

Reflection on (Luke 13:10-13)

Stories of healing are evident in many places in the Bible. One such story is that of the Bent Woman recorded in Luke 13:10-13:

Now [Jesus] was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, “Woman, you are set free from your ailment.” When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. (NRSV)

I can identify with this “bent woman.” She is in pain and in search of some relief. She doesn’t know where to turn for help because, although she is distressed, she does not know the exact nature of her discontentment. No one is able to console her. No one has the “right” answers to help her out of her predicament. She desperately tries all kinds of ways and looks in all kinds of places to make the pain go away.

You may know someone like her, too. In the story, the bent woman doesn’t have the presence of mind to ask for help, but Jesus saw her need and responded with a healing touch. That’s what he did for me. He can do the same thing for you.


Precious Jesus, thank you for anticipating our needs and calling us over so that we may be healed. In your holy name, we pray. Amen.

Source: Lorrie C. Reed. (2014) How Big Is Her God? A Black Woman’s Theological Reflections on Domestic Violence (2nd Edition).

Keeping the Story Alive

Reflection on Deuteronomy 6:20-21 (NLT)

In the future, your children will ask you, “What is the meaning of these laws, decrees, and regulations that the Lord our God has commanded us to obey?” Then you must tell them, “We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with his strong hand.”

I read somewhere that storytelling helps the mind impose order on the world’s nonsense. Stories have been used throughout the centuries to transmit information from one generation to the next so that the mistakes of the centuries will not be repeated out of ignorance. Our stories are works in progress.

All Giza Pyramids in one shot. Русский: Все пи...

A curious thing about stories — people tend to make the stories fit their personal circumstances. Sometimes they add fresh details and color to the retelling. Sometimes the stories take unexpected twists and turns, as if these accounts had a life of their own.

It occurs to me that perhaps our tendency to embellish the story represents our attempts to get things just right or to tie up loose ends so that the world makes sense to us. Then again, there has always been the impetus to get the story straight and to fill in the blanks – to cling to that which is good and right and true and make it a part of the community’s reality. Besides that, personalizing the story gives us something robust to pass along to our progeny.

Today’s scripture reminds me that we are obligated to keep God’s story going. We are directed to pass along the details of how God delivered us. We are compelled to reinterpret the modern-day essence of ancient miracles in vivid colors so the next generation will know about problems solved, sickness healed, and souls set free by the mighty hand of God. We are moved to make it personal. We retell the tales to those who come after us. We want them to have hope that God is infinitely able to deliver us from Egypt with a firm hand.


Mighty God, we thank you for giving us stories of deliverance to pass along through the generations, for they provide us with hope. Amen.