I experience God differently. He is kinder than described to me. I am not getting spanked, although I do sin. I am not being harshly disciplined, even though I have broken rules. I am not always even being led by God so much as I am accompanied by Him.
Jesus as my partner rather than my task master is a very different Jesus than I hear preached. At the same time I was told that He is my friend, I was also told that He is my master. I suppose He can be both; but, I don’t have any flesh and blood friends who behave like that, at least not anymore. If I had a friend who was kind to me one minute, then belted out sharply worded orders the next, I would stop being their friend. This is how we define emotional abuse. That’s not who my God is.
The Bible talks about Jesus living in us and that we are His hands and feet. The church sometimes discusses suffering, and how we enter into a special fellowship with Christ when we experience suffering. I have found both of these to be true. I have also found that He is willing to join me when I play flute. He joins me on my couch when I’m just relaxing. He joins me in the car when I drive. He is with me when things are fun, and laughs along with me because we enjoy each other’s company. He sticks around when things are good and when they are not.
He is not simply the God who carries me through the toughest moments, as described in the lovely poem, Footprints. He doesn’t just show up like a superhero, when I need Him most and there is no other hope. He is the God of always.
The Bible talks about Jesus being the beginning and the end, but I am finding Him right here in the middle, too. As I type, I feel Him with me. Does this make this essay holy, ordained, and right? I doubt it. I am not alone in my questions and musings, though. I am also not sitting with an angry, pissed-off god who is just waiting for me to screw up. I am sitting with a gentle, kind Human who knows I am going to make mistakes and that He is going to love me anyway.
The expectation for perfection is God’s alone and for Himself alone. His hope for me is to: love Him, love people, apologize when I mess up, endeavor to be better, and continue on in this time He has created. He and I do this together, which is why I love Jesus. There is no moment where He says, “Oh no, I didn’t sign up for this horror show.” He doesn’t freak out when it gets real around here. He sticks with me, good or bad, boring or exciting, sinning or not. Here He is, living life with me.
(Image by: Flickr User Hans Splinter)