February 10, 2009

Stooping Grace

Psalm 18:35-42

You stoop down to make me great.
Psalm 18:35


I can hardly believe my eyes when I read these words: “You stoop down to make me great.” This is mind-boggling. God stooping down to make me great? I know that Christ emptied himself to become a servant (Philippians 2:5-8), but somehow God stooping to make me great is too much to take in.

Saving the humble, turning darkness into light, providing refuge in need, arming with strength, sustaining with his right arm. Those things are amazing enough. But stooping to make me great? I shake my head in bewildered wonder.

But then I remember Isaiah 40:11: “He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart.” It starts to make sense. How can a shepherd pick up a lamb unless he stoops? God stoops down to pick me, his helpless lamb, up! And what makes me great is that I am gathered in God’s arms and carried close to his heart.

What gives us more security, more confidence, more dignity, more meaning—even more greatness—than being close to God? We may have heard of guilt by association, but this is greatness by association!

The first verse of Psalm 18 is our only possible response: “I love you, O LORD, my strength.”

I am still stunned by it all.

God of all grace, we can do nothing today but give you thanks that we find our greatness in your arms, close to your heart. Thank you for stooping down to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — Dale Vander Veen

Dale Vander Veen is a retired Christian Reformed pastor who with his wife, Edith, has ministered in California, Washington, and Michigan. They have three married children and six grandchildren. He currently writes a daily e-mail series of devotions.

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