Young children soak up information like beach sand soaks up rain, taking it all in. And once in a while they come up with something that makes us scratch our heads and say, “Where did that come from?”
The other morning Skylar, my oldest grandchild (age 3) had come awake in her bedroom, so her daddy went in to greet her. He found her peeking through the blinds. “Daddy, it’s morning! I heard the sky putting the stars away.”
The mind of a child is a brilliant thing. But truth be told, our adult minds are astonishing, too. It’s just that our heads get so crowded with detail, creative thought often gets buried.
When God hears an original idea like Skylar’s, I imagine he smiles, pleased with what she said. She simplified a complicated concept and accepted it completely. Could we, too, please God with this kind of creative thinking? The biblical David tried, and succeeded:
- Let the light of your face shine on us. (Ps. 4:6)
- Keep me as the apple of your eye. (Ps. 17:8)
- You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. (Ps. 18:28)
- Extol him who rides on the clouds. (Ps. 68:4)
- You turned my wailing into dancing. (Ps. 30:11)
- I thirst for you… in a dry and parched land where there is no water. (Ps. 63:1)
- Apart from you I have no good thing. (Ps. 16:2)
- Were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare. (Ps. 40:5)
All of us can think about God, the ultimate original, and come up with fresh things to say about/to him. He demonstrates for us with an example. He says he had no beginning and will have no end, yet he calls himself the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. (Revelation 22:13)
What does he mean?
I think he took the difficult concept of “no beginning” and “no ending” and gave it imagery we could grasp. In a sense, he was doing what Skylar did, wrapping logic around an illogical idea. Children have no trouble accepting the illogical wonder of God and his world, as long as they can cloak the ideas in logic as she did. The sky putting stars away? It makes perfect sense.
If we find ourselves stymied about God and what he’s done or not done, it might be good to reduce the problem to a simple, everyday picture. Maybe then we’d be able to understand (and accept) the uncertain and puzzling parts of life.
It worked for David.
It works for Skylar.
And it’ll work for us, too.
“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.” (Psalm 147:4-5)