by Paul Tripp

Small and Safe

It was a beautiful thing to see. I couldn’t stop looking. The setting was a huge and boisterous crowd, mostly men. Probably many of them had had too much to drink. They were coming out of the stadium, celebrating the big win of the home team. There was celebratory grabbing, shoving, and high-fiving all over the place. In the middle of the crowd was a very little boy, just knee-high to many of the men. You’d think he'd be terrified at that moment, aware of how small he was. You’d think that he’d be overcome by his limits, but he wasn’t.

He walked with his head high and a big smile on his face. Why? Because he was with his dad. Wrapped around his little hand was the huge paw of his six-foot-four-inch daddy. The son kept glancing up at his dad, and in return he kept getting those looks of reassurance that put the smile on his face. I don’t think a crowbar could have separated that little boy’s hand from his father’s. He knew his limits and he knew where security could be found. Surrounded by half-drunk guys several times his size, he was at rest. 

Have you placed your little hands in the huge and capable hands of your heavenly Father? Have you realized that your life is played out in the middle of a rowdy and over stimulated crowd? Have you accepted how small you really are? Has that made you panic? Or has it given you rest? You’ll only ever know the rest God can give you in this broken world when you begin to accept your limits. 

You have real and obvious limits to your wisdom, power, and righteousness. But your heavenly Father is infinite in wisdom, infinite in power and is the only source of true righteousness. Your God has no boundaries, edges, or limitations. In his power and authority, he bows to no one. You are riddled with imperfections, but God is perfect in every way. Therefore, the key to rest is not in continually lying to yourself in a futile effort to convince yourself you’re strong. No, it’s when you humbly embrace your foolishness, weakness, and sin that you’re in the best position to know peace of heart and to live productively in this broken-down house. 

So let your smallness drive you to the One who alone is great. There you’ll experience that he’s not only great in wisdom, power and holiness. He’s also great in grace, and he’ll give you what you need. It isn’t your job to be mighty, nor is it within your capacity. That role is reserved for God alone. But like that little boy clinging to his father’s hand, you can know what it means to be both small and safe.