Did you know that late summer and early fall is a great time for catching grasshoppers? If not, don’t feel bad. Neither did I! But my children have been catching them by the handfuls in recent weeks – lime green, light brown, and other shades in between. Apparently they are all over the place in our little yard, but I’ve scarcely noticed them all these years. Small as they are, and hidden by the long blades of grass, they’re virtually invisible if you’re an adult, and have places to go and people to see.
And, as I think about the hundreds of grasshoppers that live right under my nose, perpetually unnoticed … I get a little glimpse into the meaning of Isaiah 40.22:
It is He who sits above the circle of the earth,
and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.
You don’t have to know much about grasshoppers to get the basic gist of that verse. The point is that we, the inhabitants of the earth, are exceedingly small compared to God, just like grasshoppers are to us. We can all see that meaning plainly on the page. But it has been helpful, recently, to realize just how small and insignificant grasshoppers really are. Even though there seem to be hundreds of them living in my lawn; and even though I walked past (and perhaps over!) numbers of them every late summer’s day … they were so small and insignificant, I didn’t even realize they were there! It’s not that I noticed them, and said to myself: ‘Wow, look how small they are!’ It’s that they are so small, and so hidden, and so unimportant to me … that, until recently, it barely even occurred to me that the grasshoppers were out there at all!
According to Isaiah 40.22, that’s how small we human beings are, in comparison with our God. Small enough that, were God not all-seeing and all-knowing, we’d scarcely be noticeable in the wide world of His creation. Just think of the pictures you’ve seen of our planet, taken from outer space. If you did not know that you yourself lived on that little ball of water and clay, you’d have no idea that, beneath the canopy of the trees, there might be little two-legged homo sapiens running around like grass-hoppers. That’s how miniscule we are in the grand scheme of things! Whole nations, says Isaiah 40.15, are no more than specks of dust on God’s scales. And we must never, ever forget that. God, and God alone, is the great One!
But one of the things that makes Him so great is that, when it comes to us grasshoppers, our God is a good deal more like our children than He is like us busy adults. He’s not too big or too busy, in other words, to notice the grasshoppers! No! He loves us grasshoppers – and carefully combs through all the corners of this planet, knowing the name of each and every one of us, and even the numbers of the hairs on our heads! Moreover, like my children with their grasshoppers, He loves to track us down and bring us home as His own peculiar people! Indeed, He sent His Son into the wild grasses of this world to do just that!
So yes, we are exceedingly small and, in many ways, as insignificant as the grasshoppers in the parsonage lawn. And, thus, we must never overestimate ourselves. But neither should we underestimate the love and the persistence of our heavenly Father. He loves finding grasshoppers!