Why is it that we seem to want to find God in all the glorious and magnificent places in the world? Have we forgotten how God came into the world, as a baby born to a teenage virgin? God put on the flesh of normality, became one of us, and accomplished the impossible through unlikely circumstances. In looking up to the sky and expecting flashes of lightning and rolls of thunder, we have a tendency to forget that it’s in the normalcy and the mundane of life that God works.
That’s the premise of Chad Bird’s latest book, “Your God Is Too Glorious.” We have taught ourselves to be astounded by the grandiose and extraordinary instead of finding the grandiose and extraordinary in the simplicities of life. Often God speaks to us in those small places through small people in the small details. As Bird writes, “…our ears grow so accustomed to these loud voices that we become deaf to the quiet voices whispering profound wisdom on the fringes.”
Story after story is shared by Bird within this book, person after person is named, emphasizing his exact point that God is speaking but we may not always be listening. We may set our sights high, even to the point of creating impossible expectations which we can never meet, but God wants us to be faithful where he has us, doing the ordinary and mundane because it is out of the ordinary and mundane that God can show just how extraordinary he is.
As Bird writes, it is not our calling for us to do great things for it is a great God whom we serve. When we accomplish great things, we can also have a tendency to think that we’ve done them on our own rather than giving the credit to God who accomplishes great things through his ordinary people.
Bird shares accounts of people in the Bible who prove this point as well. The pages of the Bible are lined with the names of people who were insignificant save for their obedience to what God called them to. He mentions characters who we may or may not have read about in the past, some of whom are not even named within the pages of the Bible, some whose mention didn’t even last more than a sentence or two. That did not make them any less significant to the work that God accomplished in them and through them.
This whole premise can seen so clearly when we look at the church in the 21st century. Bigger and better seems to be a tagline that many churches have embraced, but God can truly work in the small things. As we read in Zechariah 4:10, “Who dares despise the day of small things.” Bird writes, “When we’re always on the lookout for the next big thing that God is doing in the church, we grow blind to the old little things he’s been doing all along.” The church is not about seeing how much bigger and better we can make things, it’s about us gathering around the gifts of Jesus in order to realize just how great he is.
Reading “Your God Is Too Glorious” was very timely for me. It was a needed reminder to be faithful with the little things and to stop running after what seems to be more important. Even rest is important to the point that God called “holy” the one day set aside in creation to rest. I appreciated Bird’s reminder that what culture or “the world” may call insignificant is not insignificant to God. If you have struggled with always trying to outdo yourself and always feeling disappointed that you aren’t being used by God to do great things, this book may be an encouragement and helpful reminder to you as well.
(This review is based upon a copy of this book which was provided free of charge from Baker Books. These opinions are my own; I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated for this review.)