How Do You See God?

 

 

Reading Week 6 of Jennifer Rothschild’s “Missing Pieces: Real Hope When Life Does Not Make Sense” goes over the question; God, Do You Err? Exploring as well as studying this particular inquiry, I was made to reflect on another question.

How Do I Perceive God? What Is My Opinion Of God? 

This is something to which there is no simple answer. There is also more than one. God is many things to me.

God is my Creator. –  Genesis 1:26-27, Genesis 2:7-8, Genesis 2:21-22

Genesis 1:26-27New International Version (NIV)

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

Genesis 2:7-8New International Version (NIV)

Then the Lord God formed a man[a] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed.

Genesis 2:21-22New International Version (NIV)

21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[a] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[b] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

God is my Protector. – Psalm 46:1, 2 Thessalonians 3:3, Psalm 121:3-8

Psalm 46:1New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 46[a]

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth.[b] A song.

God is our refuge and strength,

    an ever-present help in trouble.

2 Thessalonians 3:3New International Version (NIV)

But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

Psalm 121:3-8New International Version (NIV)

He will not let your foot slip—
    he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord watches over you—
    the Lord is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all harm—
    he will watch over your life;
the Lord will watch over your coming and going
    both now and forevermore.

God is my Provider. – Philippians 4:19, Matthew 6:31-32

Philippians 4:19New International Version (NIV)

19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:31-32New International Version (NIV)

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.

God has seen me through some difficult times. Back in 2008, I was very sick with a respiratory  infection. I had been sick for weeks, and whatever I had just simply was not going away.  It was during this same time, as I was scared and weak that God not only took the role of my guardian, He also acted as my provider. For it was in the same instant He gave me something that went beyond having the strength to to it through. God gave me something truly precious that day. For you see, when the doctor came to speak to my husband and me, the physician insisted that my husband sit down and brace himself. When this happened, thoughts like these raced through our minds:

Oh my God, it is bad!

Is it pneumonia?

Maybe cancer?

The words that followed though were none of these . That day,  as I was gowned, tested, and treated we found out we were expecting our first born.

I know…reading this, this might not sound significant. For us though, this was huge as not quite a month before we had been told we were not expecting. I had been sick and known something was not right and my husband and I also had been trying to conceive without much success. Knowing how well misery loves company, I was also rather jealous as well as depressed as I had learned not too long ago that my younger sister was expecting. Needless to say, I was heartbroken when I found out.  I had asked God why I was not being blessed with any children and wondered perhaps if there was something wrong with me. Now I see, all too clearly, that I was learning a lesson not only in patience but of the importance of God’s timing. Having been sick for as long as I was and being unable to overcome it, I was terrified. Imagine my relief as well as my joy when I learned I had been given the greatest blessing of all, carrying another life inside of me! I was going to be a mother!

God had, in my sickness along with my search for both an answer and a cure, acted as my strength. He also was my provider  as in my fear and weakness He gave me courage as well as hope. In the instant I had begun to dread, despair, and prepare myself for death…I found life! God took my despair and provided me with a miracle!

The delving into the question of how I perceive God inspired the introspection of an even greater question:

Do God’s Ways Seem Perfect To Me? Are His Ways Perfect?

This line of inquiry was particularly difficult for me. So much of what God does is a mystery to me. Why God wants some of us to endure while others are blessed can make us see Him as unfair or unjust. The truth though is that God is Sovereign and perfect. He alone knows all.He alone can supply all our needs.

Another challenging aspect in investigating God’s perfection was discerning between my own idea of perfection and God’s perfection. Jennifer Rothschild, I believe, sums up our ideas of what a perfect God would be like accurately. She writes her ideal God as:

“A god who does whatever I want and is smarter than me; one who always consoles me  and gives me great advice; one who never disagrees with me; one who either overlooks my selfishness or laughs at my sin and negotiates the standards with me; one who keeps me safe and a God who sticks with me no matter what and makes my life peaceful.” (pg. 129) 

That would be pretty wonderful huh?

However, if this were  who God is and was… then what would the point of mercy, compassion, unconditional love, or grace be? If God were to turn a blind eye to our sins, there would be no need for Jesus.  There would be no need for Salvation.

How does scripture describe God’s perfection?

What can be said of God’s works and ways?

God’s ways are just. – Deuteronomy 32:4  He is the Rock, his works are perfect,  and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong,
upright and just is he.

God is one we can trust for He is flawless. – Psalm 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect:  The Lord’s word is flawless he shields all who take refuge in him.

God is Sovereign and capable of things no one else can do. – Psalm 86:8 Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours.

God is all knowing and all seeing. He knows all we have done, are doing , and will do. He knows all opportunities and choices given to us. –  Proverbs  5:21  For your ways are in full view of the Lordand he examines all your paths.

God is with us always. – Jeremiah 23:23 “Am I only a God nearby,”
declares the Lord “and not a God far away?”

Nothing is too great for God. – Jeremiah 32:17 “Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.”

May Bless You This Day…

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