Sunday, October 7, 2012

Everything I Need

How do you see God?

It seems like an obvious question, whether you support or oppose the idea of a deity at all. If you don't, you might answer, "I don't see God. He's non-existent." If you do, you might still sarcastically answer, "I don't see God. He's invisible."

But look past the surface.

How do you SEE God?

You have so many options. Throughout 66 books, 1189 chapters, and 31,175 verses (by King James' standards, that is) men have woven their own descriptions of an honestly indescribable God. When you take all of these words and multiply them by the countless translations and dissections that modern men place on them in their written theology and spoken sermons, the mind simply cannot comprehend all of the fullness that is God.

I never really realized how paradoxical all of God's descriptors were until I sat in class today. My cousin pointed out that at some points, scripture calls God our father. At other points, it paints the picture of a bridegroom. How is that even possible? How can you possibly look at God as both? Isn't that, for lack of a better term...incestuous?

I don't make this point to be disrespectful or crass or to take away from anyone's personal understanding and relationship with God whatsoever. But doesn't it seem odd that in one breath, we can call ourselves God's bride, while in the next calling him our father or our friend. Perhaps we call him our redeemer or our king. God is so multi-faceted that sometimes, when you're looking at all of his different pieces in one sitting, He really doesn't make that much sense anymore.

So how do you see God?

Have you ever thought about how well God knows you? Personally? Like, he knows you, but he actually does know ever last bit of you. And he has for a long, long time. He knew what you were going to look like, that you were going to have untamably frizzy hair. That the kids at school were going to make fun of you for your freckles. He knew about all of the incidents that were going to make you who you were. He knew that these weren't necessarily going to be good.

I want you to place yourself in the shoes of a girl who has been molested by her father. Whose father was an alcoholic that beat her or told her she wasn't good enough on a daily basis. Or whose father just walked out on her and has been left resenting and hating him for every second of every day since. Can you imagine telling that girl that God is her heavenly father? How would she receive that? Do you think she would be able to love God and trust Him with her life or with her heart?

Or what about the woman who has been left broken by her husband's infidelity? Or the girl who is suffering heartache from a lost love that took advantage of her and robbed her of all the good she had to offer? How do you explain to her that God wants to woo her and take her as a bride? How do you explain that this love is pure when all she knows about romantic love is pain?

Maybe this isn't hermeneutically correct, but I have to think that maybe, just maybe, God thought about those people and loved them enough to know that He had to reach them somehow. I feel like maybe God knew that the fatherless wouldn't always be able to see Him as their father and accept Him in that way. I have to believe that maybe He saw the brokenhearted girl and knew that all she could see of His desire to make her His bride was the potential of abandonment and hurt. Maybe the Bible doesn't say that. But I have to think that maybe it's true.

I don't mean to tell you here that you can't look at God in all of these ways. I don't mean to tell you that you have to only see God as a father or a friend or any of those things and that you have to pick just one. If that's how you see Him and love Him, then that's great and I'm so happy for you.

But the reason I want to say all of this is because I know of people out there who have been hurt and get scared when God is associated with individuals in their past who have left unerasable scars on their lives. And that's not okay. Because the great thing about all of God's descriptors is that it shows just how versatile and big He is. All of those different roles are proof that whatever it is that you're missing, there IS somewhere you can find it.What I'm trying to tell you is that seeking God doesn't have to end in pain or hurt. If you want a father, He can be that to you. If you need someone to rescue you, He does that. If you need someone to validate you and tell you that you ARE good enough, He does that as well.

In the end, it doesn't matter what your individual way of seeing and loving God is. Because really, He can be anything and everything you need Him to be.

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