What is man that you are mindful of him,
and the son of man that you care for him?Psalm 8:4 ESV
I used to fuel myself 12 hours of the day on coffee and caffeine. When my sweet friend would remark, “I don’t know how you get it all done,” I would shrug and smile and reply that I just had a lot of energy. Simple, stupid Lauren.
After embarking on a life sans caffeine, I realized that I actually have a very limited amount of energy. The only way to fill the energy tank is to simply rest, preferrably sleep. On top of that, I am also incredibly anemic.
In the face of finite energy and resources, I have adopted the phrase, “I don’t care.” The truth is I can’t care. I only have so much time and energy to use and I can’t waste it on things that don’t matter in the long run. Ahhh- that’s why kids tattle and adults don’t. We just don’t have the energy.
Anyway, I’m guessing I’m not alone on this one. With the world pulling us in every direction, we can’t possibly care about it all. And I think that’s partly due to the Fall, but also partly because we are dust.
Being weak clay with finite resources, it is impossible to conceive of a God of infinite resources. Of infinite caring. And phrases creep in that make God more like us. Phrases like “God doesn’t care about that.”
So in well-meaning Christian love we tell people that “God doesn’t care” about the color of their hair, the clothes they wear to church, if they even go to church, where they live, where their kids go to school…
Really, it’s a curious and dangerous thing when we start to determine and speak to what God cares about. Especially when He is quite clear that He is interested in every detail of His creation.
But even the hairs of your head are all numbered.Matthew 10:30 ESV
“Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain and a way for the thunderbolt,
to bring rain on a land where no man is…Job 38:25 ESV
Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you observe the calving of the does?Job 39:1 ESV
It’s really just a matter of reading Job 38 and 39. It’s watching closely as Jesus holds the little children close and promises the kingdom of heaven to “such as these.” It’s paying attention when God commands His people to remember the foreigners and orphans and widows. It is pausing to contemplate the millions of moments in each generation, the sequence of genes in each person along the way that led to the creation of you. Oh please please please pause and think about all the things that occured so you could occur. You are so precious. So important.
God cares about the small things and the big things. We don’t have a God who cares nothing for anything. Honestly, we have a God who cares so much about everything we can’t even imagine it.
And here is why I’m making a deal out of this: the moment we begin to determine what God does or does not care about, even in an attempt to be spiritually encouraging, we open mental gates to thoughts that if God does not care about that, then He probably doesn’t care about this. How many people don’t pray about things because they mistakenly think that God is busy with more important things and He won’t care about this? How many people, me included, have felt so small and insignificant that God probably doesn’t care about what we are going through?
How can we determine what God cares about when He repeatedly shows us in His word that His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways?
And those little mistakes, the ones we are tempted to say God doesn’t care about, have been covered by the blood of Jesus. This doesn’t mean they are no big deal. It means they are forgiven. We are free. Our chains aren’t ignored- they are broken.
And while I don’t recall God saying in the Bible that He didn’t care about __________ (I could be wrong- feel free to refresh my memory), there are certain things He regards higher than others.
Appearances, facades, hypocrisy are not disregarded by God. On the contrary, His talk of bearing fruit and white-washed tombs and being ambassadors and putting on Christ indicates He feels very strongly about what our lives look like because often they reveal what is happening inside us.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart…” (Proverbs 3:5) “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”(Matthew 22:37) “I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh.” (Ezekiel 11:19) The hearts of His people rank number one; hearts that are turned to Him, humble hearts of flesh. Souls satisfied and cleansed in the blood of Christ.
Does God care about the color of your hair? The number of tattoos on your body? What you wear to church? Where you spend your Sunday mornings or Saturday nights? Your lineage, gender, culture? Absolutely. You are His child and He loves you. Will any of those things separate you from His love? Never.
We have some serious freedom, friends. We aren’t under the yolk of a bully God who will punish or disregard us with every misstep. We are in the hand of a loving God who desires a relationship with us. Who wants our obedience because it means the best for us in our relationship with Him and others. Who uses our every foible and failure to point to His glory and mercy and faithfulness.
In a world limited by the caring capacity of its inhabitants, we can’t hear this enough: God cares. He cares about it all. He cares about you. God is good.
Love you, friends.