Something occurred to me really for the first time while reading this devotional today. I hadn’t really thought of it this way before and I’m still ruminating about it, so forgive me if this sounds incomplete. Maybe I’ll keep considering it and discussing it with my resident expert on these matter… aka my husband.
When we talk about intimacy, the words vulnerability and acceptance must come quickly behind it. When people have trouble with intimacy, (not just sexually which is the most common usage of the word, but it is also emotional, mental, spiritual) it is often linked to issues of insecurity and fear, the inability to be completely vulnerable, to let go of expectations and inhibitions, and to embrace the utter defenseless feeling that necessarily must emerge when true intimacy is on the horizon. Intimacy exposes all the dark corners, like a spotlight blazing on your very soul.
And what just occurred to me for the first time this morning was that God has exposed all of Himself for us. Sounds kinky, but I don’t mean any disrespect or sacrilege in any way. What I mean is that God could have painted Himself in one way – throughout scripture, His story. He could have only told us the stories that made Him look happy and loving and giddy with pleasure, fawning over us beautiful creatures. He could have shown us only His wonders and how He, time and again, gets humankind out of the worst situations against all odds and even when they do all they can to thwart His purposes.
He didn’t. He also showed His vengeance, His wrath, His punishment, His capacity for brute force and judgment. He portrayed His “questionable” traits – the ones we hate and debate for centuries now, the ones that trip us up and make us angry or despairing. He gave us a glimpse into the frustrating tendencies He has to make His people wait, the parts of the story where He totally could have just made everyone happy, but didn’t. Oh the mystery.
How can I love such a God? It’s a question I’ve done my share of wrestling with for many a dark night. He is frustrating. He is painful. He is fierce. He is jealous and sometimes I feel like He’s petty. I’ll admit that in my darkest moments I’ve called Him some words I wouldn’t use in front of my mama. And I have done my share of walking away from Him, running away, in those nights.
But in other nights, usually close to the morning hour, when I’ve cried out my last ounce of tear and I’ve said all I can muster up to say, the Hand of God is heavy on my heart and He says, Turn your face away because I am passing by. And He shows up in my soul – I can feel it. He tells me His ways are not mine. And I say “Tell me something I don’t know.” And He laughs and says, I filled a book.
Do we know Him? Do I really KNOW Him? How can I love someone I don’t really know? Wouldn’t I always question His mind, His motives, His behaviors? Like a character on a TV show I get angry with, what do I know?
He has shown me. How much time do I spend getting to know Him, devouring His story, studying and examining His very heart and His intentions from beginning to end?
And like a marriage to a stranger, am I content to just co-exist? Or do I ask the tough questions? Do we sit down at the table for dinner instead of in front of the TV and talk – really talk?
When we were dating, I told Rob early on about this blog I’ve been keeping for many years now. I told him it pretty much is everything you want to know and don’t want to know about me. I always knew that some day some one would read my blog and fall in love, right? Haha. I had no such dream. In fact, I always worried a bit that someone who was interested in me would read this blog and think, good grief, I think I need to pursue that other woman I was interested in.
But it worked out all right. Rob devoured my blog. I could tell because my site stats went up a lot – someone was working his way through every single post from day one. It was ridiculous really. But I’ll tell you whut – it made me both really happy and made me feel a bit vulnerable. Here was this man who wanted to know every detail, every thought, every dream, every fear. He would ask questions and want to know more about things I said. Things I didn’t even remember writing. What was I thinking when I wrote that? What happened at that time? What happened afterward? He pushed through some thousand posts I think, just wanting to understand my heart and soul. In some ways, it pretty much lead us to getting married. We have joked that if it weren’t for my blog, it would have taken a lot longer. Maybe 8 months instead of 6. (My blog has covered A LOT of territory!)
And it’s the same with God’s story – His blog if you will (oof – I didn’t just write that.)
He let it all hang out, so to speak. He said, here it is. My every thought and word and deed. The things I NEED you to know about me. The things you will either hate and despise, or grow to love and understand. Here are the things that I have done, and here is how I’ve worked all of history out. It’s for you. Read it. Every word.
What if we don’t? What if Rob said, um yeah, that’s nice – blog, eh? Cute. And read a couple things here and there – the really short posts with cute pics. What if he just skimmed it and maybe put a couple of the better, sweet quotes on a plaque to hang in his bathroom? See what I’m getting at?
For those who still are skeptical, those who think God has never shown up for me – I dare you to read the story again. I dare you to read it with the questions, Who is this God? How can I love a God like this?
And for those of us longing for a closer walk with Him, pray with me that He will grant it. This is truly my plea. Daily walking close to Thee – oh let it be, dear Lord. Let it be.