(15) . . . maker of heaven and earth

Suddenly the solemn statement, “I believe in the maker of heaven and earth,” sounds a little tinny and bumptious. In fact it’s almost ridiculous. Here I am, a mere speck of dust lost in the immensity of the stars, and space, and time, piping up with my little opinion about the One who made it all. More important than my belief in the Creator is the fact that the Creator believed in me. He not only made heaven and earth, but he must also have considered that it was a good thing to make me. Otherwise I wouldn’t be here either to believe or disbelieve in him. God cares so much about me that he has given me my life and his world and his Son.

He has provided for me in so many wonderful ways that I could easily fool myself into thinking that I myself must be the center of the universe. If he went to all that trouble for me, he really must believe in me. So I am not merely a speck of dust or an illusion. But I must always remember that I am not God. He alone is the Creator, while I am only a creature among fellow creatures. I depend on the Almighty for my existence and powers. If God were to doze off for a moment, that would be the end of me. When my day is done, God will still go on. I’m so very changeable, but God is consistent. Death is a threat to me, but death has no dominion over him. It is clear that I am not God. I must suspect the appeal of any religion that would help me to worship myself or make me out to be so much a god that I might try either to defy the living God, or to take over his powers and rule in his place, even overrule God.

It is also clear to me that none of my fellow creatures is God. None of them has the right to take God’s place in my life. Nature is not God. Once upon a time everything I now see around me did not exist; it had to be made. I must never worship nature or anything else in this world, however beautiful and poetical such worship may seem. I must never get so fascinated with this world that I forget that my first responsibility is to the God who made the world for his purposes, not mine. The world belongs to the God who created it. Nothing in it is ever really mine. Nor is anything in it outside the reach of God.

The whole world belongs to its Maker, not just a religious part that some people call sacred or spiritual. Every place belongs to God, not just special places for worship. Every house, every land, every place of work or play, belongs to the Creator. All time belongs to God, not just special times for prayer and worship. Every hour, by day or by night throughout all the years of history, belongs to the Creator by right. There is no comer of any man’s life that is exempt from God’s claims. If he puts things into our hands to hold and use in trust for him, we are responsible to him for everything we do. Nothing is mine, all mine. I cannot protest it he asks me to give him back what he loaned to me. He can do what he wants to do with his own. “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”