“The devil is in the details.” I made this statement at a recent church meeting. I said those words because the discussion seemed to be caught up with the processes and procedures rather than the objective. Questions were made and answers were given and then a short time later, the same questions were asked. I felt we were getting caught up in little things and missing out on the bigger picture.
In Psalm 8:3-4, we read, “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is mankind that You are mindful of them, human beings that You care for them?”
Living in a city, we are surrounded by houses, businesses and skyscrapers. It is easy to forget that through all the light “pollution,” there is a myriad of stars, planets and galaxies surrounding us. When we get the chance to leave the concrete jungle and look up into the sky, we get a chance to see what the psalmist writes about.
On a clear night, the view is amazing. With the advent of technology, we can even download apps on our phones that when we hold it up to the night sky, it helps us to identify the various constellations. But even with that help, it is not until we use a telescope do we see the intricate details of God’s creativity.
As you look through the lens of a telescope, instead of just a smattering of stars, you realize that the entire sky is full of stars. You see details that you would never see just by looking up on a clear night just with your eyes. What we perceived as dots become a symphony of light and movement.
And when you stop and think about it, it is amazing that our God placed each of those stars in the universe. There are too many to count, stars that have yet to be discovered, stars that have shone for millions of years and stars whose light burned out long ago. Yet He knows them all because He put them there. He is so vast, so powerful, and creative. He is before all things and He holds every single bit of the universe in His hands.
We have all read the story about David killing Goliath at least a thousand times. It is a Sunday School staple. It has everything we love in a story. A small shepherd boy who was just delivering lunch, an ugly giant who tormented the army of good guys, a little bit of trash talk, and then triumph over evil. This would have been perfect reality television.
But here is a detail that I love about the story that many others miss. Saul tries to equip David for his battle with Goliath by giving him his armour. This is not just any armour. Saul is the king so you know it was all made of the finest materials possible. But David quickly realized that it was not going to work for him; it was too big and bulky and he needed to use materials that he had used before with success as he killed the lions and the bears that tried to attack his sheep.
So David grabbed his staff and five smooth stones as he approached Goliath. We all know the rest of the story. Just a bit of a spoiler: Goliath loses but the birds eat…
This story is a reminder to me that sometimes when I face big challenges in my life I look to God to equip me with the big, fancy “armour” to fight them. In my mind, if you have a big problem, it requires big tools to deal with them, right? Except, when you have a big God on your side, the weapon size is irrelevant. Sometimes it is as simple as remembering that we come in the name of the Lord Almighty, the one who put the stars in the night sky. This is a reminder that it is never about our power or our ability to fight a giant. All we need is to remember that God has used all the little pieces of our life to prepare us for whatever we may face and that we never go into the battle alone.
I think we all need reminders that God does not care about us in a general stance. He created every one of those stars in the night sky, He lovingly and thoughtfully crafts every detail and moment of our lives. Psalm 139 tells us that we are “knit together” in our mother’s womb. He cares about every single detail of our lives, no matter how big or how small. He can and will use things that seem small and insignificant to achieve His purposes.
God could have stuck to creating stars. From my perspective, they give Him a lot less trouble than we do but He created all these things and then He created us. It was not because He had to, rather, we were created out of love. Nothing is too small to be outside of God’s concern. Jesus says in Matthew 10:29, “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.” Even the death of a sparrow matter to God.
Just as He holds all those stars in the night sky, He holds every detail of our lives in His hands and wants us to trust Him with every bit of it.
God takes all of it: the mundane and the ugly, the ordinary and the occasional extraordinary, and when we allow Him to add His grace, His mercy, and His outrageous love, things change. He adds a brushstroke there and some colour here and paints it all into one glorious work of art that only He can achieve through us where we are right at that moment. Ephesians 2:10 in the New Living Translation says, “For we are God’s masterpiece.” A masterpiece is something treasured and valued. That is how God sees us.
It might be in our homes, in our neighbourhoods, in our classrooms, in our communities and world. Wherever God places us, we are called to be the masterpiece of God, using the gifts, talents and abilities He blesses us with to bless others. Here is a truth to embrace: No one else can live our story. You are where you are because God designed it that way.
Do not let the details of your life distract you from missing what God has for you. God, our Creator, cares about every single detail of your life and that care is founded in His love. Are you facing big challenges? Do you feel like you need God to come through in a big, fancy way? In and through Jesus, you come in the name of the Lord God Almighty! That is enough.