So I may have lost a lot of writing last week.
I turned on my nine-year-old laptop as usual, the steady dinosaur that it was, a beloved holdover from my consulting days…and I got the black screen of death.
This wouldn’t be a crisis for an organized person. A thoughtful person who regularly backs up her work. A person who listens to her husband who has countless spare hard drives and a degree in information technology. But unfortunately, I am not that person. I’m the person who saves everything randomly to the desktop.
So yes. Not my best day.
I cried. And prayed. And spent the better part of an afternoon staring at the small, silver hard drive, trying to will it back to life.
Let’s just say that it’s been in the tomb for more than three days and I’m seeing no signs of Resurrection.
So instead of my planned post about weeping, the one still locked in the hard-drive tomb, you just have me weeping. Wordless, computer-less, and feeling surprisingly small.
And strangely, this small loss left me with big questions – questions about my Creator and my creations.
But into these questions, Isaiah brought answers; Isaiah, who saw the Lord and declared his own words “unclean” in His holy presence.
Isaiah describes the Lord as high and lifted up, sitting “enthroned above the circle of the earth,” and people “like grasshoppers.” He says that kingdoms of this world, the rulers and their creations, will last only a moment.
No sooner are they planted,
no sooner are they sown,
no sooner do they take root in the ground,
than He blows on them and they wither,
and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. (Isaiah 40:22-24)
The scripture speaks again and again to our smallness, our temporary-ness. We are a “mist that appears for a little while and vanishes,” (James 4:14), like flowers that fade and fall (1 Peter 1:24). And yet God promises to raise us imperishable and eternal in Christ (1 Cor. 15:42-44). He promises to prepare a place for us, a dwelling that will never be destroyed (2 Cor. 5:1-2).
But what should we do in meantime? What about our labor now? Will our loving Father sometimes allow the work of our hands to be swept away like chaff?
He may. For reasons we do not understand.
Because He is God and we are not.
So perhaps instead of trying so hard to create something beautiful, something lasting, something large, God instead wants us to become small. Small enough to draw near to His beauty.
Because when we realize we’re little, and fragile, and silly enough to save everything to the desktop – we reach for His hand.
I am the Lord, who takes hold of your right hand,
and says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you…
…do not be afraid, oh little Israel.
for I myself will help you. (Isaiah 41:14-15)
The one who sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, the one who measures the waters in the hollow of his hands, the one who holds the dusts of the earth in a basket and weighs the mountains on scales – that mighty God desires to bend down low and take hold of our hands.
If we only stay small enough.