Macro and Micro

The last time I led a short-term missions trip, I felt like I let my team down. Our international short-term program had started small, and I had led teams each year as it grew. But in the fourth year we were sending eight teams, and though I wondered about my ability to concentrate on the needs of one team while also overseeing the larger program, I gave it a shot.

unnamedIt was a mistake, and I regretted that decision. My team had a distracted leader. It was a painful way to come face to face with my inability to focus well on both the big picture and the small details. I was unable to handle the Macro and the Micro at the same time.

This is one of many areas where I celebrate the fact that God is NOT like me. He handles the Macro and Micro equally well – which is to say, perfectly.

A Phil Wickham lyric drove this idea home on my Sabbath hike a couple of days ago. The song “Safe” includes this phrase:

“You will be safe in His arms, you will be safe in His arms.
The hands that hold the world are holding your heart.”

Those words, and the truth behind them, grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. The hands that hold the world are – they really ARE – holding my heart! God in His perfection gives attention to the world that He created, while tenderly cradling and protecting the hearts of the people that He lovingly calls His children.

God does what I can’t do. He is amazingly, wonderfully NOT like me! That realization is the foundation of all true worship, and it became the platform last Saturday for a delightful few minutes of grateful prayer in the hills northwest of Prescott.

I searched for other ways the Macro/Micro principle applies to Him, and came up with a few:

  • He counts the stars and knows them by name, while knowing my name and the number of hairs on my head.
  • He fills the universe, and lives in my heart.
  • He is the Lord of the Nations who invites little children to come to Him.
  • He sovereignly directs world events to accomplish His purposes on earth, while hearing the prayers and guiding the steps of those who look to Him as their Shepherd.

I’m sure there are many other areas in which God’s divine ability to focus on the big picture and the small details are worshipfully mind-blowing. Can I invite you to meditate on that idea for couple of minutes? If something comes to mind, I encourage you to mention it in the Comments section below.

I’d love for everyone who reads this post to walk away convinced, in some new way, that God is not limited like we are, and that He is worthy of worship as the God of the Macro and the Micro.

Because the hands that hold the world are holding our hearts.

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About Sabbath Thoughts

My name is Mike Gaston. I am a former missionary, a Shepherding Pastor at Heights Church in Prescott, AZ, a happy husband, a spoiled father of two daughters, a proud grandfather, and a recently-convinced pursuer of the benefits of intentional, regular, contemplative, Christ-centered rest. This blog will allow me to share thoughts about Sabbath, as well as thoughts about God and the Christian life that come out of my restful Sabbath moments.
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13 Responses to Macro and Micro

  1. Laura Davis says:

    Thank you, this is very encouraging. It applies to so many things in daily life. And P.S., if you mean Cambodia, I thought you did very well. 🙂

  2. Ken Royer says:

    Amen! Thank you for these insights.


    Ken for Mary too

  3. Sue A. says:

    From Chris Tomlin’s “How Great Is Our God”:
    Age to age He stands
    And time is in His hands
    Beginning and the end

    I am always in awe that the God who transcends time has a plan for ME, and has woven it into His majestic tapestry.

  4. debra petrella says:

    Mike always wonderful to read your times of refreshment, I’m reminded today as I do a study with several ladies that God saw the big picture in Gen., in the garden, and how He created us different, man and woman, and gave us equal importance and worth, yet different, and how marriage is a beautiful picture of Christ and the church.

  5. billm17 says:

    Hi Mike,
    Almost immediately the voice of Moses’s father in law flashed before me. It was a good idea then, and still holds true now. Getting the help of trusted associates to handle the micro and you the macro is wise.

  6. Steve Kilker says:

    Mike, I am reminded of Paul’s great exhortation in the meeting of the Areopagus Acts 17:24-28 where Paul proclaims God’s transcendence and immanence; “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth…gives all men life and breath and everything else else…and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should men would seek him…though He is not far from each of one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being.” Thanks for this great post Mike.

    • Great input, Steve! I came very close to using the words “transcendence and immanence” in the post, but wasn’t sure if I could spell them correctly. 🙂 Your passage gives a great example of both. Thanks for chiming in, my friend. Blessings on you.

  7. Faith says:

    While reading my “Jesus Calling” devotion this morning it gave this very clear word picture….”Rest in Me, My child. Give your mind a break from planning and trying to anticipate what will happen. Pray continually, asking My Spirit to take charge of the details of this day. Remember that you are on a journey with Me. AS YOU GAZE ANXIOUSLY INTO THE DISTANCE, YOU DON’T EVEN FEEL THE STRONG GRIP OF MY HAND HOLDING YOURS.”. It was a wonderful reminder of how great and mighty our God is, yet He is tenderly caring for His children breath by breath….it allows me to let go of Macro and Micro managing my life….and just ALLOW Him to handle it. There is wonder in letting go and watching Him deal with details that I couldn’t have even begun to think of!!!
    Thanks Mike for the “thoughts”….trust all is well with you both!

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