Grasshoppers at Christmas

Grasshoppers at Christmas

During this time of year, I am constantly fighting a peculiar tension. Maybe you fight it as well. It’s that tension between the flurry of activities that Christmas demands of us and its pull toward constant busyness on the one hand, and the desire on the other hand to sit still, to cease from the incessant time demands, to have solitude with this Jesus from Bethlehem whose birth we are celebrating. The tension is real. And it seems to grow every year for me. As our children get older, their activities increase. As our church grows larger, the calendar fills up quicker with demands and ministry opportunities. On and on it goes.

As I carved out some time this morning for solitude with Jesus in the midst of an already busy season, Isaiah 40 resounded in my ear like a wake-up call from my Creator. He reminded me:

Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance? Who has measured the Spirit of the Lord or what man shows him his counsel? Whom did he consult, and who made him understand? (vv. 12-14)

Behold, the nations are like a drop in a bucket and are accounted as the dust on the scales. (v. 15)

It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers;…Who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. (vv.22-23)

Before reading this passage this morning, I sat contemplating the full plate that I have ahead of me. I began making that mental checklist of activities and to-dos and something in my ego told me that I was necessary…that God needed me to accomplish His work this Christmas season…that I was important, even crucial to accomplishing what needed to be accomplished. It was then that the Spirit of God began reminding me of who He is, and who I am in light of who He is. He reminded me that I am nothing apart from Him. If a nation is merely a drop in a bucket, what does that make me? He reminded me that He doesn’t need me. He doesn’t need you. He doesn’t need any of us. But He chooses to use us to accomplish His will and His plan. He is the Creator of the ends of the earth, and He doesn’t grow faint or grow weary. I, on the other hand, grow quite weary. (Which, as a side note, is the divine comedy of sleep. John Piper says that sleep is the great equalizer. It turns even the most sophisticated elite into an infant again…at least for those 8 hours a day.)

During this busy Christmas season, be reminded that God doesn’t need you. Instead, He wants, desires, chooses to use you for His glory and for His plan, though grasshoppers we may be. May we rest in the shadow of His great wings, this God whose ways and mind are unsearchable.