Who is God anyway? In a concrete world it is difficult to wrap our brains around this seemingly nebulous untouchable called God.
I have a lot of head knowledge about God. I know His names, His attributes, His salvation plan. To go with it, I have heart knowledge of Him. I’ve even experienced His deep workings in my life.
After experiencing some fairly awesome things, like losing 250 pounds, some of my theology has been turned upside down. As any good journalist knows, to get the real answer one has to go to the Source. So in my quiet time recently I asked Him, “God, who are you really? What do you want me to know about You?” His answers are already turning many of my staid beliefs upside down.
My first lesson was He is a God of Contrasts. It seemed to go against the unchangeable God thing, but that is in scripture so it must be true. Could the two be compatible?
“I am not who you think I am. I am a God of contrasts. Day and night, light and dark, power and grace, the lion’s roar and the kitten’s soft purr. I am war and peace, strength and meekness, the oldest man on the planet and the one born this second. I am constant grievous weeping and I am raucous laughter. I am joy and grief, the deepest part of the ocean and the uppermost peak of the highest mountain. I am in everything and nothing at the same time. I never change and yet, just when you think you have me figured out I do something you never expected.”
It’s this last part that throws me for a loop, really throws me, because I know it to be true. God never changes. His love is always there, but the way I understand it changes. At times I feel this overwhelming sense of Him especially when something awesome happens to me and I’m on top of the world.
However, I inevitably mess up and I’m sure He’s shaking His head in disgust. Yet down the road 20 years, I turn, look back and see how He helped turn a total negative into a positive. In that moment, I experience a whole new level of God and love I never dreamed existed.
Did He change or did I change? Most of what I think is God changing is really me experiencing an entirely new level of God, one I never knew existed. He’s like a giant video game with hidden levels. Just when you think you’ve figured Him out, a twist comes into play and I’m left scratching my head at the puzzle that is God.
I view God with a finite mind. As Jeremy Risner, Christian Chapel pastor, explained, “God stands outside of time.” We, of course, stand inside of time and as a result see everything through the lens of time as we know it. God’s time is totally different.
How He acts has to be totally different. We usually see people as one way or another. We pigeonhole ourselves into Myers-Briggs personality types, Strengthfinder indexes, Kiersey temperments, even the DSM-5 diagoses.
We give God human attributes and wonder if He is an INTJ or ESTP? It really blows everything out of the water to believe that He could be all of the personality types at once. How does someone do that? Well, someone doesn’t, but God does.
These human attributes blend over into what we think He is doing at any give minute. We think He is a really busy God. He has a universe to maintain after all! Does He worry about intergalactic failures?
It’s enough to drive even Him crazy and yet we serve a God who is in control of everything even when things in our lives seem out of control. In Him we always find rest even in the midst of our personal universe collapsing. How does He do that for each and every one of the seven billion people in the universe?
The deal is, God is beyond finite comprehension. He knows us so well that He understands we misunderstand Him and see Him like a Lincoln Memorial God, a huge, cold statue who doesn’t understand us.
He’s not though. He does understand us and yet, knowing all about us, He loves us anyway. To prove it, He did a remarkable thing. He came to earth as His Son, fully God and fully man. Even this is outside of our understanding. How can He be both Father and Son at the same time?
“Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation.”1
Trying to understand why God planned before time to come to earth as a man in order to give us a visible image of His character is hard to wrap my brain around. Up there in heaven, He had it made. Why come down here and worry about us?
In his book Into the Depths of God, Calvin Miller says, “Calvary was God’s crying place. To change a world is to spend everything and then to wait and weep.”
He did it to change the world and to give each of us a chance at being with Him forever. It was out of a deep love for us born of sorrow that He came into the world.
Don’t think it was easy, though. No, it was difficult for the God of the universe to slip into the limited human shell and suffer a death He did not deserve even though He knew resurrection was just around the corner.
Yet it was a plan Jesus was in on from the beginning. And what was before the beginning? God was and is and always was. And yes, that’s hard to comprehend, as well.
We get caught up in all of the questions and the ponderings. In reality all we need to do is just open our eyes and look just for a moment from God’s perspective towards earth and we’ll see through the eyes of unending, supreme love.
It boggles my mind to think of who God is and yet, that’s exactly what I want to do. I want to Focus on who He is to me. Back to the original question, who is God anyway? He is the only personal God who cares and loves completely. And that is not all that hard to understand after all.
1Col. 1:15 NLT
Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying To Earn God’s Favor is available on Amazon by going HERE. The companion book, Sweet Grace Study Guide: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Overcome Food Addiction are available HERE.