The Incomparable God
Part One: Recognizing the Incomparable God
After three international flights, and just as many layovers, I had lost track of how many hours it had been since my husband and I had left Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila, Philippines.
Just hours earlier we had sold our last piece of furniture, and now were rounding the globe towards a new beginning. Tears were crusted on my flushed cheeks revealing a hard ending to eight years of ministry among expat co-workers and our beloved Filipino’s.
“Why are good-byes so hard?” I thought to myself, still feeling a pang of wanting to turn the plane around and return to all that was familiar. Yet God had so clearly led us on to a new people, and it was their faces which now allowed my heart to press forward.
I could feel the engine pull as the plane thrust out it’s landing gear, marking an end to something beautifully familiar mingled with the anticipation of something new and uncharted. I looked out the window at the lights sprawled out before me. My physical time-clock told me that it was nearing dusk; but the gray light that greeted me was just moments from sunrise. A new day which marked a new beginning.
As I grasped my backpack, carry on luggage and down jacket from the overhead compartment, I could already feel the cold wintry air greet me as the plane door opened. Despite it being March, I knew that the sunny Manila days were far behind me.
After a few days of settling into our new to us home, I realized how weak I really was. The past six-weeks of endless activity had taken their toll on me as we had packed and shipped our belongings, said hard good-byes, and left behind a country and a people whom we loved.
Now I was struggling against the clock and my body-clock; as my eyes threatened to close at odd hours of the day. The hours between six am to nine pm became our goal to stay awake. From experience we knew that if we could get ourselves back on a normal daily routine, we would be able to get over jet-lag much faster. Naps were only taken with the prerequisite that we could lay down for 20 to 30 minutes; and not the desired two to three hours that our bodies longed for.
After three or four days of fighting our new time-zone, I realize that this thing called jet-lag had literally taken over my body. With a twelve-hour difference from Philippines time, I found that I was awake at two in the morning and falling asleep at three in the afternoon. Everything felt completely out-of-whack!
Jet lag is a wonderful thing! “Yes!” I have written that in jest; yet it does remind me that I am often weak and very weary. I need strength! Not only on these days when I am lacking in sleep and stamina; but every day when situations arise that are out of my control and certainly not in my expertise to handle. I need strength to handle a new transition and enter a new ministry role with wisdom, care and grace.
These are days when I need to remind myself to not do life on my own; but to cry out for godly wisdom; knowing that I cannot depend upon myself, to discern adequately the best words to offer a friend in need, or the best way to walk-through a difficult situation.
Recognizing the Incomparable God
“Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, you are of more value than many sparrows.” Luke 12:7 (ESV)
“As one identifies the greatness of God in their life, they will gain a deeper and clearer understanding of God’s incredible, intimate love for them.This understanding will then turn to an observable reliance, in the Incomparable God.”
LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN: DIFFERENT BY DESIGN
I have been repeating these words to myself, knowing that they are not only true, but necessary as I step into a ministry which comes with no job description, yet a broad scope of possible expectations.
For me to not lean upon my own human understanding, I need to begin to recognize the Incomparableness of God. He is beyond measure or comparison; yet he leans-in to my most intimate of needs.
Incomparable means that there is absolutely nothing that compares with God. He is unfathomable, unsearchable and endless. Yet He is close enough to care about what concerns me.
Even though I know this truth, most days I fall short and need to remind myself that when I wake up, I need to flee to the Incomparable God so that I don’t try to do life on my own; which I am often prone to do.
How often have I tried to convince God of the way He should lead me? How often have I prayed as if I was the one counseling God in the way He should move in my life or the lives of those I love. I humbly admit that this scenario has happened far too often.
I serve God and nothing compares with Him. Yet how does this truth impact my life moment by moment and in the dailies of life? How does this truth intersect with how I choose to live or ready myself to serve others or extend unconditional love?
Nothing Compares with God
God is supreme, above His creation. Yet how often do I think that I know better than God? I certainly wouldn’t admit it out loud, but it most often shows in my actions, or is revealed in my anxiety, or is noticed in my lack of rest and fretfulness.
How often do I think that I have a great human solution to one of life’s difficult problems; only to find out that what I thought was a great idea wasn’t nearly enough.
You think I would have learned by now; but often I remind myself that I am not the Creator. Only God knows what is best. He knows the situation in its entirety and has a crystal-clear view of the pitfalls, challenges and blessings right around the corner. He knows how to lead me perfectly; if I will just stop, lean in and listen.
I may be suffering from jet-lag as I transition back to my home-country, and be caught up in major transitional changes; but I am encouraged, uplifted and blessed as I look at the unrivaled, unparalleled, matchlessness of God.
I may have left a familiar ministry behind; yet as I step into the unknown days ahead and embark upon a new ministry, I know that I am not alone. The One who led me here, will walk right beside me into all the unknowns.
I stand astounded that I have the distinct privilege to go straight to The Incomparable God and share with Him my life concerns. In the sharing, I can know that He knows what is best for me.
“Indeed, through His own gracious revelation of Himself, we can understand God in part, but we can never fully comprehend Him, or even a single one of His qualities. There will always be more of His wisdom to understand, more of His power, more of His holiness, more of His love. We will never fathom Him, and we will never tire of Him. Through all eternity, we will look upon Him and marvel at the endlessly creative, wonderfully gracious, uniquely righteous, timelessly beautiful, unsearchably glorious, infinitely loving Maker and Ruler of all.”
Kevin Hartnett. The Heavens: Intimate Moments with Your Majestic God
I encourage you to take a few moments to ponder these questions.
- Have you ever thought you knew what was best in how to solve a problem, only to find yourself orchestrating it’s details instead of depending on God?
- How hard is it for you to release control when you are unsure of the outcome?
- Do you say that you trust in the Incomparable God, and yet see evidences in your life of fretfulness, worry, anxiety or even anger at an outcome which you did not desire or plan on?
- When you pray, do you try to tell God what He should do to solve the situation?
- Have you ever prayed as if you knew what was best?
I invite you to join me; Linda Jane Dingeldein: Different by Design, to ponder the Incomparableness of God. He is beyond comparison, beyond all measure; and yet He tells us to cast all our cares and concerns upon Him because He cares about us.
I invite you to look and catch a glimpse of the Incomparable God in your life. Lean in and allow Him to minister fully, out of His intimate love and goodness.
Oh God, you are beyond my human comprehension. Absolutely nothing compares with you.
Great are you Lord! You are greatly to be praised, and your greatness is unsearchable.
Even though you are beyond all measure, you still care about what concerns me. You have searched me and know me. You know when I sit down and when I get up; You understand my thoughts before I even speak. Thank you for being an intimate God.
Thank you for your deep love for me. God, I may not always know your plan, but I can trust that you know what is best; and as I rest in you, I will see the perfect plan unfold before me.
Forgive me when I try to counsel you in how to direct my life. Forgive me when I think that I know better than you.
God, you are unfathomable, your ways are unsearchable. May I trust in you, Lord with all my heart and not lean on my own understanding. In all my ways may I acknowledge you, knowing that you will direct the pathways of my life, perfectly.
In Jesus Incomparable Name, Amen.
(Prayer scriptures have been taken from: Isaiah 55:8-9; Psalm 139:1-6; Psalm 145:3; Romans 11:34; Proverbs 3:5-6)
- Look for Part Two on the Incomparable God: Rehearsing the Greatness of the Incomparable God
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!”
Romans 11:33 (NASV)
LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN: DIFFERENT BY DESIGN
PHOTOGRAPHY BY LINDA JANE DINGELDEIN
Linda Jane Dingeldein welcomes the first signs of spring.