First Post of January 2018
“But ask the animals what they think—let them teach you; let the birds tell you what’s going on. Put your ear to the earth—learn the basics. Listen—the fish in the ocean will tell you their stories. Isn’t it clear that they all know and agree that God is sovereign, that he holds all things in his hand— Every living soul, yes, every breathing creature? Isn’t this all just common sense, as common as the sense of taste? Do you think the elderly have a corner on wisdom, that you have to grow old before you understand life?” ~ Job 12: 7-12, The Message (MSG)
Can we find God in an exquisite sunrise or sunset, or in those days when the sky is gloomy all the day long? Can we look at nature and find the one who created this mystery we call Earth? Can we search in the broken places or is He in the luxury hotels waiting for us to find Him? Why does God have to be male or female, I mean isn’t it possible that God is so powerful that there is no gender? Is God found in the shadows or can He be found only in the sunlight? Is God just known to us sinners on this rock which orbits around one of trillions upon trillions of stars which dot the night sky? Is God found in just this universe, or is He also the creator of trillions of more universes than just ours? In thinking this out further I guess God could arguably be bigger than anything we could ever imagine or infinitely as small as the smallest particle yet to be discovered. But I really like how Job put it when he was arguing with the elders, I enjoyed how simply put his words where on this specific topic about who God is, for Job said it best, “Ask the animals what they think?”
Who is God to Me?
“God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing his mind. Does he speak and not do what he says? Does he promise and not come through?” ~ Numbers 23:19, The Message (MSG)
As a boy growing up I would look up into the night sky and see the brilliantly lit stars overhead and wondered where God was among all those points of light. In church, I was taught that Jesus was the light and the way. God seemed to be a super being far outshining anything in my big imagination. As I grew I wrestled with the idea that Jesus was God and they were one and the same. At first, it did not make sense at all, for here is God the Father; an all-powerful being and here was Jesus a man born of flesh and blood. Sunday school taught that God was not a man, yet Jesus clearly was. It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties traveling around South East Asia in the United States Navy that I finally got it! See before this point God was an angry, vengeful, fiery judge deserving of a healthy dose of fear deep in my heart; He was a being who took mercy on us and finally decided to come down to help us mortals out. To some extent this was done out of love; but also out of impatience. In reflection, this description was very much one befitting me. But on the day I got it all that went away as for the first time I saw God in my shipmates, I saw God in the people of the various countries we visited, and I saw God in an Irish man who gave me and my friend the money to get back to our ship late one night in Dubai. I started recording the random acts of kindness of others as each day passed. Strangers helping strangers, crewmates putting aside their differences for the common good of the division. I grew up thinking I would only have one family in my life, but as I traveled I become a valued member of many other families who otherwise would be considered strangers. The more this happened the more I grew closer to God and truly understood what being a member of God’s family was all about. I truly grew up in the Navy because of those experiences and I would not trade them in for anything in this world. But like everything in life when times get hard faith starts to wane taking a back seat to the various dramas being played out. It wasn’t until I had gotten married, lived outside of the security of my biological family, and alone in my complicated life full of doubt about God; who as I saw it had abandoned me. It was in that very moment of spiritual starvation when once again God saw fit to further push me to grow with a true miracle. For God had revealed Himself as a ray of brilliant light which shook me to my very core. For as I waited in a Hospital in California, my heart racing in anticipation on the verge of an emotional meltdown; I bore witness breathlessly to the birth of my daughter. I could see and feel His presence descend upon me with such love and grace as the doctor asked me to cut her umbilical cord, then the doctor placed her into my unsteady arms as I struggled to pull her close to me. I was speechless as she cried then our eyes met for the first time. In that moment I knew love, I knew hope, and I was introduced to fatherhood. In reflection upon this most profound of questions, “Who is God?” I have to admit that perhaps maybe He is the ultimate father, mother, uncle, cousin, friend, lover, child, grandparent, and lifelong teacher.
“I love you, God — you make me strong. God is bedrock under my feet, the castle in which I live, my rescuing knight.” Psalm 18:1, The Message (MSG)
It’s too easy to declare, “My God Is!”, rather my brothers and sisters let us say simply and purely that, “God is so many different things to each one of us and in many ways, He is the same thing to all of us!” For God is just not my God alone, He is also your God, our neighbors God, our friends from overseas God, and the God of the Universe! We all are of Him, and in no way could we ever deny this and be sincere or credible. In this way, God is absolute, unchanging, forever loving and gives mercy and forgiveness to us in ways that we do not deserve. For all who run to Him find love, find true success, and above all safety. In every way, God sustains His children, weak and strong alike. God is family, eternal and everlasting, for He washed my dirty soul with life-giving waters. God is the spirit of hope, life, death, judgment, and any other descriptive word you could come up with. But above all other things, God is my salvation and I will love Him with all my heart for as long as He will have me live on this Earth. It is in His image I was created, His image of which I became a teacher and father, and it is in His image I shall have everlasting life after this life is over. This is my covenant with God, and it is through His will I reach out to His family, all of you who want to simply declare out loud that, “God Is!”
Question: “Who is God to you?”
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