#6: “Big God!”…Your Perspective on Him Will Change.
When death has come your way, your image of God will be altered. It has to. The pain is so intense it’s impossible for your previous perspective on the Almighty to remain unchanged. Suffering drives us in one direction or the other. Either we will come away with an image of him that brings us closer or he will seem more distant.
For years the medical community has asked what a coma patient can sense. I was in a coma for a while as a result of my medical accident. I can tell you exactly what I went through. I was utterly aware of all that was happening around me. I couldn’t move or communicate, so at first, I was frustrated. It didn’t help that medical personnel treated me like a non-entity. They assumed that I was in a sleeping state. (On the funny side my nurses played the Christmas album of Harry Connick, Jr. over and over for days on end. It played literally more than a hundred times non-stop as new nurses came in and hit the replay button on the CD player. Again, they thought I was in a sleep state and couldn’t be disturbed. Days later when I came out of the coma and could at least write I made it clear: NEVER play that CD again!)
But I wasn’t sleeping. I was fully capable in my spiritual self to get in touch with God as clearly as I have ever been able. The coma turned out to be a great gift. For those several days, I leaned into God without distraction. I meditated on Scriptures I had memorized. I drew further and further into God’s presence. After a couple of days, I felt a breakthrough. He was so real I could almost reach out and touch him. I mesmerized by the awesomeness of God. I rarely use the “A” word. In this case, it fits.
The doctors were afraid I had experienced some level of brain damage. After being in a coma for a while they weren’t sure what sort of damage had occurred. I had been through extremely low blood pressure for a time (30/10 for more than an hour). As I was able to talk, my first words confirmed their fears. In a dramatic moment, several doctors gathered around my bed. They leaned over me to hear my first words after coming out of this state. With a hoarse voice, I uttered repeatedly what seemed to be nonsense, “Big God, big God, big God…”
But it made sense to me. I had been in God’s unfettered presence for several days. The take away was this: I was more convinced than ever that God is awesome beyond description. I felt a little like Isaiah when he saw his remarkable vision. “He is high and lifted up and his train fills the Temple.” God was so big, so amazing all he could see was the tail end of his robe and that alone filled the spacious Temple. He is BIG! The certainty of that is enough to carry us through.