You've probably heard in Sunday School an illustration in answer to the question, "How long is eternity?" While found in various forms, the illustration goes this way. A bird picks up pebbles and flies them to the moon till the whole earth has been relocated; but even then, eternity is still just beginning.
How did you feel when you first considered that? It scared me! Not because I thought I might grow tired of living with God. The fear was from being unable to comprehend the magnitude; thinking about something my mind couldn't begin to encompass.
Our brains are like every other part of us: they are finite. There are limits to what we can figure out and understand. Our Creator is the one person who can actually calculate infinity ... because He is infinite.
Here's another brain buster you may not have considered. When Jesus lived among us, we know He felt our pain, shared our grief, and struggled with temptations. But, have you ever ruminated on the outcome if He had succumbed to sin? Then there would have been no forgiveness because there would have been no perfect sacrifice. Not only would He have died the same hopeless death as all the rest of us, but God would have become less than God, because that part of Him would have been forever lost. Talk about a Boolean nightmare!
We become anxious when we are challenged to our limits and beyond. Sometimes we may even experience anxiety attacks ... during a test, speaking to a crowd, or trying to decide what to do when we reach the end of our money before the end of the month. Yet the Bible tells us not to be anxious. That test may wreck your GPA or curtail your college choices. That audience may ridicule you or lose respect for you. You may not have running water to boil the last bag of pintos for supper tonight if you don't pay the bills.
Where do we find the antidote for anxiousness? We read the command, "Do not be anxious about anything ..." (Philippians 4:6 TNIV). We figure we must be too weak to be a good Christian because we do get scared and we do get frustrated and we make ourselves anxious about not being anxious. And how come we don't have the same absolute certainty about every ordinance, every issue, every aspect of obedience that some claim to have? We must not be good enough, which leads us to be more anxious.
Let's take a closer look at that passage. When Paul was encouraging the Christians at Philippi, he was rhetorically putting his arm around them and saying, "I know you're afraid sometimes, but you don't have to stay afraid. Go to your Father in prayer, and His peace, which is greater than any peace you've ever known, will be with you."
How can we trust this is true? Come to the Garden of Gethsemane with Jesus (Mark 14:32-50). Listen to Jesus the night before Calvary. Can you hear His voice breaking as He asks about His alternatives? Can you see the sweat on His lip and on His forehead — like great drops of blood? (Luke 22:44) What else could you call that but the highest anxiety imaginable! I believe He was scared — the words Jesus used are "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death" (Mark 14:34). But He didn't remain scared once He turned the situation over to His Father. He was risking everything. His failure wouldn't just lead to a few disappointed disciples, it would have rocked Heaven. But, He found the strength to take on a problem no other being — human or spiritual — could pretend to touch. Jesus shared the burdens of His heart with His Abba Father, and then said, "[E]verything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will" (Mark 14:36).
So what is the solution? Where do we find this Pi, without which we can't find our way around a simple circle? It is the greatest gift God ever gave us: grace in Jesus. It fills in the blanks. It makes up for our error. It reconciles us to our Maker. It shows us God's love.
We cry to God, "I have this problem." He gives us the answer, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" (2 Corinthians 12:9). Jesus took on our greatest dilemmas, solved the unsolvable, and brought us God's grace.
Thanks be to God. Forever and ever!