I tremble in fear of you; I stand in awe of your regulations… My eyes strain to see your rescue, to see the truth of your promise fulfilled. (Psalm 119:120,123)
Relate: Please bear with me while I walk through one of those free association moments. While I was reading Psalm 119:120, my memory drifted back to the fear and confusion one particular ant must have had of me. Drift back to the moment of that ant’s fear way back when I was a youth pastor in Webster, NY. I was up in the youth room praying when I noticed a really big ant walking by. Right next to that ant was a thumb tack. I did what any guy would do and introduced that thumbtack to the ant. I missed. Well, I almost missed. Somehow I had managed the impossible and had speared one leg of that poor ant to the ground. The little guy tried to run away but all it could do was run in circles while one leg remained firmly stuck. I took an unreasonable interest in the ant’s plight, but I did not help it. I simply watched it walk and walk in circles completely unable to get free by its own power.
Now let s drift away from that scene on the youth room’s floor and into one of the greatest movies of the last decade. Early on in the movie, Avengers, Dr Fury meets Loki for the very first time. Trying for peace, Fury says, “We have no quarrel with your people.” Loki looks at the one eyed man with contempt before responding, “An ant has no quarrel with the boot.” Later on in the movie, that first conversation would be revisited:
Then, of course, there is this moment near the end of the movie:
React: Just like Loki, we are in a prison. Just like the ant, we have been caught in a trap that we cannot possibly escape under our own power. We blame God, we blame the devil, we blame others, but really the prison is one of our own making. Again like that ant, we are walking around hopelessly in circles. Like Loki we have no hope of escape without outside help. I left that ant there that morning more than ten years ago. I went down to my office and was working for hours before going back up to check on it at lunchtime. It was still trapped. It was still walking around in circles. In a rare act of pity, I set it free.
The greatness of God compared to our power is far more than that of an ant and a boot, but He has taken an unreasonable interest in us. He has taken an interest in me. He has seen me walking around in circles, trapped, with no hope of escape. He was then willingly pierced so that I can go free. He has seen me imprisoned by my own sins and addictions. He then entered into that prison to take my place. But He didn’t stay there. He stole the keys, kicked down the gates, and now I have the opportunity to break out with him. Even though I tremble in the fear of a great and powerful God, I also strain to see his rescue. That rescue is a promise that He started to fulfill at the cross and will complete at His soon coming return.
God, I am so thankful for all that You have done for me. I am so thankful for the unreasonable interest You took in one who, by every comparison or perspective, is oh so far beneath You. I am thankful that You entered my world, bore my pain, suffered my pnishment, and prchased my freedom. Even as Thanksgiving has passed, I can only begin to count the many many ways I am grateful that You are my God.