A few weeks ago we took our children to a transportation museum. My oldest son is obsessed with trains, and the museum was filled with model trains, and real train engines. My son as a rather large collection of little trains. Most of them are from Thomas and friends. They are small. Tiny. When we went to the museum our son was fascinated by the model trains in display that moved around the track. He could have watched them all day. They were also rather tiny, but it was as though his small little trains he was used to were brought to life before his very eyes.
We went outside to see the real train engines. My wife and I were blown away by just how big these engines were. You don’t think about it too much because you are never really standing next to a real engine. It was incredibly impressive, and almost a little awe inspiring. Ezra had a very different reaction. Fear. Fear of these giant metal behemoths. He loved his small trains, but when faced with the real thing he cowered in fear. He was nervous. It almost felt a little bit dangerous to him to be standing next to something so massive and grand.
I feel like this is how I am with God sometimes. There have been so many times in life were I talk about how I love God, but much of that love is based off of a very limited perspective I have of Him. When I see the bigger picture it can be intimidating. How much do ire ally know God, and how much am I able to handle?
Moses wanted to know God as much as possible. He asked to see God. God told Moses he couldn’t handle seeing him in all of his glory. He actually had to shield his eyes as he moved past so that Moses could only see his back. When Moses would be with God His glory was so strong that Moses face would glow. Even this secondhand glimpse of glory was too much for God’s people, and they would beg for Mo0ses to cover his face. They couldn’t handle it.
How much do I limit my intimacy with God out of fear of how overwhelming it might be? The funny thing about my story with Ezra is after seeing these giant behemoths he found a train table inside where he played with small trains again. He was comfortable in his element, but it all seemed rather lackluster to me compared to just seeing the grandness of these huge machines. It was almost impossible to go back to that limited understanding and appreciation.
So often we talk about how important it is to grow in our relationship and understanding with God, but rarely do we consider how scary that process can be at times. Sometimes it reminds us of our flaws and weakness. It can be intimidating to learn about something so grand and powerful. There is genuine fear in that, but if we can push passed the fear we can come to a deeper and more meaningful appreciation for the God we worship.