Having just watched the Olympics a month or so ago, not to mention the reemergence of collegiate and professional sports lately, I’m reminded about the incredibly talented athletes we have the privilege to watch execute their crafts. Clearly the Allyson Felix’s, Tom Brady’s, Katie Ladecky’s, LeBron James’s, etc., are the best at their craft and may indeed be the GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) at them. Being both old and old school (haha) I have to say that in my day I had the opportunity to observe those that may very well be even more the GOAT than those. Names like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan, Nolan Ryan, Carl Lewis, Mark Spitz, Joe Montana, and many others probably have the right to claim the GOAT title in their sports in their day, and have a legitimate claim on the all-time moniker.
We tend to assign GOAT to those most recent in our current awareness, and that’s not necessarily bad. The 2021 version of the GOAT may indeed apply, but I can also think about Jesse Owens, Lou Gehrig, Wilt Chamberlain, and others and confidently acclaim them with the GOAT title.
It seems there’s something time-bound about the all-time nature of the GOAT designation. We tend to remember and venerate the achievements of those in our current awareness but we may forget and devalue what others accomplished in years past or before our time. It tends to call into question those who may or may not be the GOAT.
That tends to be true at times for the true and undeniable actual Greatest Of All Time, our God Over All Things. It seems we can read the Bible and acknowledge the historicity of the text and the veracity of the words for those times, and yet forget that God hasn’t changed, hasn’t diminished in His ability to be the GOAT for you and me in our here and now.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!”
“I am the Alpha and the Omega—the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come—the Almighty One.”
But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do.
The circumstances life can bring about can truly weigh heavily on us. It is easy, in our humanness, to forget everything but the challenges that weigh us down. It is also easy in those times to default to a sense of helplessness. We can make the mistake of reading God’s word and seeing it as historical, but not practical. As inspirational but not personal. And in that possible tendency, not only do we misapply the Word of God, but we mistake His very identity.
You see, God is the God Of All Time. He is the God we need at every moment in time.
God is also the God Over All Things. He can rescue us from whatever our struggles may be.
The passages above remind us of the truth that God is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow. His “faithful love … never ends. His mercies never cease.” That means we can have Grace Overriding Anxious Times no matter what or when.
He is the “beginning and the end.” His power and his might have always existed, will always exist, and exist immutably no matter what you and I are dealing with today. His Goodness Outweighs Apparent Trials.
God is true and the only truth we can rely on without fail, “His intentions can never be shaken.” He alone is valid and no other system, thought, or religious philosophies can fulfill our needs, ever. He is the Guarantee Obverting Artificial Theologies.
The miracles God performed long ago, He can still perform today. This is the God who spoke the universe into existence. This is the God who formed and fashioned you and me in our mothers’ wombs. This is the God who parted not only a sea, but also a river, to provide safe passage for His chosen people. This is the God who raised the dead, restored sight to the blind, healed those with incurable diseases, and fulfilled over 300 discrete, specific qualifications in advance by offering His one and only Son so that you and I can know Him for eternity.
This is the God who has loved us (past tense) with an everlasting (future tense) love in the present tense (Jeremiah 31:3).
His miracles weren’t relegated for just a specific time and place for only specific people. God is able today to be the GOAT … the God Over All Things, with Grace Overriding Anxious Times, whose Goodness Outweighs Apparent Trials, as the Guarantee Obverting Artificial Theologies. Let’s you and I never relegate His accomplishments in the past to mute His ability to help us in the present.
He is truly today the only true GOAT … the Greatest Of All Time for whatever it is we need, whenever it is that we need it.
Soli Deo gloria!