Years ago the band Gungor came out with a song entitled God is Not a White Man; it’s a cute little ditty that reminds listeners that God is love. He is good and doesn’t fit into the boxes we so often try to put him in. That song sticks with me because it illuminates the limits that we put on God without realizing it. Sometimes we have an incorrect view of God and that, of course, leads to other incorrect perceptions.
How do you picture God?
Is he old?
Is he happy? Or mad? Or sad?
Does he look like Morgan Freeman?
Does he look like Santa Claus?
Is he a staunch gun-toting Republican?
Or is he wearing an Obama t-shirt?
For years, I thought that God was boring and mean and out to get people. I didn’t see him as loving or forgiving. He was a task-master with rules and regulations, he didn’t want people to have fun and made it difficult for them to do so. But then I learned who God is.
Now, when I picture God, it usually begins with imagining myself. I promise this post isn’t all about me—just stick with me.
In this image, I’m a child, maybe 3 or 4 years old, and I’m running around with my hair up in pigtails (weird fashion choice, I know). Then I open up these massive doors and walk into this large, cavernous room. I’m intimidated by the vastness of it all—I’m just so small. Even though I’m scared, when I see him sitting in a chair, reading a book by the fire, I’m at ease. Though he is huge, I’m not intimidated. I run to him with glee and jump into his lap, excited to tell him about my day. He is cozy. He is warm. He is loving. Even when I’ve screwed up, even when I’ve broken something, even when I’ve lied or whatever other mistakes I can make, I know in his arms, I am safe. He is my Father who looks at me with love every single time.
God is a loving and gracious Father who bankrupted heaven to restore the relationship with the kids who rebelled against him. What an incredible God we serve! We’re so undeserving of his love, but he willingly and gladly lavishes it upon us!
I encourage you to look at the boxes you’ve put God into and ask him to dismantle them. Take the things you might believe about God and expose them to the light of his perfect love. Allow him to heal those parts of your heart and mind; lean into the discomfort of examination. Dig into his word and learn who he is, look at the works of Jesus and see his character reflected through them. I believe that God is honored as we examine how we see him and choose to connect with who he truly is.
How do you picture God?
How has your view of God changed as you’ve spent time with him?
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