I have a question for you. Which is better; to believe God does not exist if your view of him is of a being capable of unloving behavior, or to believe in God, and believe him capable of less love than you yourself are able?
What I mean is, if a person’s idea of God is of a being that does not care for his own creation and its pains, would it be better to believe such a god does not exist, or to believe he is the Almighty, yet inferior to his creation in his capacity to love and care? If my heart aches when I see another in physical or emotional pain, if I can be made nauseous at hearing of the atrocities a child has suffered at the hands of those who should be its protectors, if I can joyfully go without in order to see someone in need be content, how could I believe in, much less love, a god who watches from afar and cares nothing for those suffering below his lofty throne, or to care for some and not others. I can’t. I shouldn’t.
Perhaps the reason so many who do believe in God are still in bondage to this life is because they are not believing in a god who is worthy of being called God. A student who has reason to believe his teacher will happily, willingly, without scolding, help him with each problem he brings, will much more readily go to her for help; thus he will learn more smoothly and quickly and be ready for the next lesson. If however, the same student believes the teacher will be exasperated, impatient and short tempered, he will only bring a problem forward when he has exhausted all other options, by which time he has made a true mess of things.
In this life we know both kinds of teacher exist, but what about God? Is he like the first or the second? My answer is to ask him, then listen to what he was to say. Get to know him on his terms. We’ve all tried our own terms; we’re born to it. We’re each raised differently, but all interpret who God is by the authority that surrounds our childhood. God must be God as he is. We can’t say we know a celebrity no matter how many articles we’ve read about him or even if we’ve read his biography. We can’t even say we know him if we’ve met him once and then only have contact through his agents. We must spend time with him and watch him in action.
As we seek God, we come to see the difference between those who believe in him, and those who know him. Those who know him love him, and it will show in their brokenness and simple obedience to him. So when you start to ask him about himself, ask him if there’s something he wants you to do. He may tell you to forgive someone, or to be still and wait. He may tell you to rescue a cat from a tree. Whatever it is, the first thing he tells you to do, do it; then see how much better you know him. Then, do it again. And again. Everything he tells us to do is for our good and bridges the gap our mistaken ideas of him have built.
I could tell you how I know him and how he’s changed me, but that would not tell you what your own searching will reveal; the part of himself he knows you need. I can tell you this; it is possible to be overwhelmed by Love. To feel his love in your pain—it’s life changing forever.
I challenge you to ask him who he is.