Take chances. Abandon all the rules. Ditch the recipe. Color outside the lines.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pictures of God

Everyone has their own idea of what they think God looks like.  Some people’s picture of Him even changes over time.  When I was little I always pictured God as a giant who had a Santa Claus beard, always was sitting on a big throne, and was very shiny.  I grew up and God started looking more like my dad, who would hold me while I cried for no reason and throws up the “rock on” sign every time I play my guitar.  So I thought, I wonder what other people think God looks like?  Of course, I went to the place where all the mysteries of the universe are answered… Google.  I added some pictures of what Google says God looks like.

Apparently the white beard thing is pretty popular which makes me feel somewhat normal… if you don’t get the Bruce Almighty reference with the first picture, you should be ashamed of yourself!  Everyone has their views, the world sees God differently even than we inside the church do.  Behind our stained glass windows we have different views and expectations of God. 

In some churches you hear about a God who demands perfection and keeps a tally of the times we screw up.  Others speak of a God who is timid and really just created us only to stand back and watch us run around trying to figure things out.  When you grow up in the church you get used to hearing things about God that don’t really catch your attention anymore over time.  Things like “God is with us” or “God is a jealous God” or even “fear God” (the latter I am going to be silent on because I’m still struggling with that one). 

All three I have heard countless times and they hardly register in my mind anymore.  That is, until I hear songs with words like "If Our God is for us then who could ever stop us?!" and  "He is jealous for me, loves like a hurricane, I am a tree bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy."  Music hits me differently and, like this past Saturday, sometimes causes me to pull out my phone in the middle of church and start frantically typing the truth I gain from it. 

Our God, whew our God, is not just WITH us, He is FOR us.  He fights for us, sacrifices for us, and gives into us.  He created this planet for us and when we screwed that up He sent His son to die for us.  He’s not just this passive friend who tags along beside us, No he is the brother in arms who joins our revolution!  He is jealous for us, not in anger and selfishness hoarding us away like some precious ring with mystic powers, but because He is in a passionate love relationship with us and longs for fellowship with us. 

He longs for us to experience the oneness we have with Him.  His love is a hurricane, wow I’d say that’s a pretty accurate description!  No one can stop, predict, or control a hurricane.  We are trees powerless to do anything but be overwhelmed by his excessive love for us.  God, to me, is so much more than I grew up hearing about in church. 

He is unpredictable in His blessings, excessive in his love, at times frustratingly inclusive in his grace, reckless in His mercy, and actively involved in my life.  I am increasingly grateful for a God who is patient in my stubbornness, love in my anger, peace in my anxiety, and calm in my restlessness.  My God looks at me, sees all that I am, and says, "Rock on, baby!" That.. is who my God is. 

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