We assume, I think, that because God is big and all-encompassing and above and beyond and Other; that because He created us and the whole world, well, we assume that God works in the big and general and abstract. When we consider history, our experience, and even nature, however, we discover a different reality.
God created the universe. And in the vastness He created, He chooses just one galaxy, one solar system, one planet to put life on. Then he selects only one nation, the Israelites, and calls them His people.
From the beginning life has involved so much waste – wasted time, space, efforts, and resources. It takes more than 40 million sperm for a chance of even one life beginning. Avoidable deaths, valuable resources going spoiled and unused.
And then the God of this entire universe narrows in on the story of one particular teenage girl and one particular son. Who is born in one particular place, with a particular culture, during a particular time period.
Our experience, our reality, the historical narrative of the world, if you step back and think about it even for a moment, is all so ridiculously crazy, so mysterious. Why this way? Why at all? What’s the point?
Being particular, being narrow, being selective can be seen as a privilege, a high calling, an honor, maybe even an unfair advantage. And that may be true. But it’s also a burden. The weight of glory. The weight of carrying a Story, of carrying each other. CS Lewis says this:
“Next, we see God working through selection and narrowing until he lands on one Jewish girl’s story. Through selection, waste, and narrowing, the people God chooses share not only honor but also burden.”
God chooses. God is particular. God is here and now. This is an honor and a burden. But mysteriously this narrowing sets us free. It opens our eyes to choose life. To choose joy, beauty, and glory. To choose from the multitude of good. This is what we are created to do. This is who we are created to be.
In being particular God becomes big. Big enough to carry your story. That’s the honor and glory and mystery of God. And it’s not just your story, it’s the Story.