A new banner flaunted itself on the gym wall this morning. A toned woman lay on a mat, smiling. The caption: “Master of My Universe.” I guess it’s supposed to be good news, a sort of encouragement, that we can master our own universe.
But I’d like to know more about the universe she thinks we can master. Since I struggle to master even my own thoughts and words, how tiny must my universe be if I’m to master it? It seems tight, airless, a place with no room for others (for they might upset my clenched-fist control) or God (for He certainly will) rather than the wide open space into which God brings us because He delights in us.
It feels, too, like an awfully heavy burden. It’s a 24/7 job to keep a universe – no matter how small - functioning. And I really like to be able to hand off that task to someone bigger and sleep in peace.
I think again of the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism, words cherished by many through the past 450 years.
“What is your only comfort in life and death?”
“That I am not my own, but belong –
body and soul,
in life and in death –
to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ.”
Someone much bigger, someone beautifully gentle and faithful and true, loves me. Holds me. Names me as his own and cares for me accordingly.
God spoke it to Abraham and to all generations after him, “I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you.” (Gen 17:7)
Not “to be your god,” a god of our imagination, fashioned in our own image. But “to be God to you.” To be – to us and for us - everything that it means to be God. And when you think that to be God means not only to be all-wise and all-powerful but to be love (I John 4:8) and to be servant (Phil 2:5-11; John 13:1-17), this is very good news. “I will establish my covenant with you. To be God to you. To be Master of My universe, of which I have, in love, made you a part.“