(Note: I wrote this roughly 10 years ago, when both sons would have been grade-schoolers.)
For a change of pace from the math workbooks one morning, we held a Measurement Day. With rulers and tape measures in hand, my boys chose items and distances to measure. From Ben’s big toe to the length of the house, they recorded all kinds of numbers on their charts.
Of course, their ideas exceeded what we could reasonably do. Matthew wanted to calculate the height of our house from basement floor to sharply peaked roof (I think he really just wanted to climb the extension ladder). Ben wanted to measure the distance from the grass to the sky.
In the Bible, God uses mind-boggling measurements to convey the immeasurability of His ways, His thoughts, His mercy.
They are described by the degree of difference between earth and heaven. The quality of heaven as compared to earth — its perfection, purity, brightness, joy — exceeds all earthly computation.
When it comes to God’s ways, this gap between earth and heaven is an insurmountable obstacle: we simply cannot get there from here.
“Can you search out
the deep things of God?
Can you find out the limits
of the Almighty?
Their measure is longer than the earth
and broader than the sea.”
~ Job 11:7-9 ~
As my mind struggles with wanting to understand God’s mind, He reminds me that I cannot comprehend His size. Seeking to understand His thoughts is like trying to figure the distance between the grass and sky using Ben’s school ruler. What I can know is what God has already given me to know — in Christ and in His Word.
God makes it clear to me that His ways are far beyond my comprehension — then, He calls me to comprehend the immeasurable dimensions of His love!
Instead of making sense of His ways, God wants me to understand His love — that vast mercy which fills the chasm between heaven and earth.
As great as the difference is between my own thoughts and the thoughts of a holy, Almighty God, so great is His love toward me. To better comprehend that love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge: that is my prayer.