I hope you all had a wonderful Father’s day weekend. We kept ours low key which is a rare thing here so that was perfect.
I want to write about something that has been heavy on my heart lately. It’s the question of who is God? Who IS God? To have only 8 letters and three words it’s a remarkably large question and the answer carries remarkably large affects. I’ve been a believer in Jesus Christ since I was 8 years old. I distinctly remember hearing and feeling God’s voice and prompting as He was drawing me to Himself. I am a very shy person, believe it or not. And as a child I was definitely not comfortable in my own skin….I still deal with that at times. And I remember, at 8 years old, being so afraid to speak to people or have any attention drawn to myself. The task of making my faith in Jesus public with an act of baptism was a very daunting thought. I asked my mother to walk with me and stand beside me. But when the time came for me to follow through with my commitment to follow Jesus with all of my heart and life, I had no fear. I walked down an aisle of a crowded church and stood proudly and boldly beside my pastor. I told my mother as I left my seat that she did not have to come with me. That was the very first time that I felt God’s power at work in me. That was 21 years ago and I’ve never forgotten it. I pray I never do.
As a child faith, came easy for me. Even as an adult having faith that God will provide for and take care of me has come fairly easy. But there are times when I am in the thick of life and the world is crumbling around me and that same old fear I had as a child creeps in on me and drapes my shoulders like a security blanket. It’s a moth eaten, ragged blanket but I still find it more comfortable than faith. And it seems that more often than not, in the troubled times, I reach for my blanket of fear before I reach for the hand of my Father. When I feel afraid, discouraged, disappointed, or hopeless I begin to ask questions. Questions like, does God hate me? Surely He is disgusted with who I am. Does He really love me? Is He really even there or have I been fooling myself my entire life?
Do these questions sound familiar? Maybe you’ve heard them from a friend or family member. Maybe you’ve heard them from your own mind. But we have all definitely heard them in Genesis chapter 3. “Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”……But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die…..” Did God? Is God? Can God really??
If you really think about what we as believers actually believe, it just sounds plain nuts!! We believe that there was, is and always will be a God Almighty. There is none like Him. He, with simple words from His mouth created the vastness of the universe and the tiny creature on the ocean floor. He sent His son who was really God incarnate, born of a virgin mind you, to earth. He lived. Did miracles. Was murdered for a crime He did not commit. Rose again after three days. Went back to Heaven. And He’s coming again, riding through the clouds on a white horse to take us to Heaven to be with Him forever and ever. Y’all that just makes absolutely no sense at all to me. And sometimes I truly struggle with the logic of it all and the questions of “did God really…?”
But here’s the deal. My questions sound a lot like those written in Genesis chapter 3. And in those questions I find no peace; only fear, guilt, discouragement, and hopelessness. But when I read God’s word and believe in faith that God is who He says He is there is hope, peace, encouragement, forgiveness and comfort. My view of God determines how I live my life. It determines what I do, what I think, and what I say. And your view of God determines the same things for you.
So I’ve written 739 words and have yet to answer the question of who is God. Well, the Bible says that He is my creator, Jehova-Elohim. While I was in my mother’s womb He was knitting me together cell by cell, bone by bone, Jehova-Hoseenu. Because I was born into sin, He paid the ultimate price and died for me., Jehovah-Mekaddishkem He is my redeemer. Even when things are just going all wrong, He can be trusted because He is sovereign, Adonai-Jehova. He calms the raging seas*, Jehovah-Shalom. He walks with me through fire*, Jehova-Shammah. Heals all my disease*, Jehova-Ropheka. He is my shephard, Jehova-Rohi.
This is who God says He is, and that is what I choose to believe whether I feel like or not and whether I can understand it completely or not. Because the fact is, I don’t always feel it and I certainly don’t always understand it and I never will. I am thankful that “He Himself knows how weak [I am]. He remembers that I am only dust.” Psalm 103:14