What is your image of God? I don’t mean what is your Bible class answer to the question about who God is. I mean in those moments when your subconscious is guiding your actions and reactions to what is going on around you, what is your image of God? How does He behave? How does He treat you? If you’re like me, it is not always a great image.
Some of us see God as the father teaching his child how to swim. He keeps telling his son just a few more strokes but keeps backing up so the boy never actually reaches the goal. So, we work and work and work, and we try and try and try to be good enough, but God keeps backing up. The goal keeps increasing, but we never quite reach it. So we either turn to despair or denial. That is, we either despair that we will never make it and so quit trying. Or we deny that we haven’t made it and stop where we are.
Even worse, some see God as the dad I read about whose son was having a great time jumping off the porch into his father’s arms. The dad kept stepping back and encouraging the son, “Come on, Son. You can do it. I’ll catch you.” After three or four jumps the father backed up, encouraged the boy again. The laughing boy took a flying leap and the father stepped aside and let the boy fall face first to the ground. As the boy came up crying and bleeding, the father said something like, “That’s a life lesson, Son. Never trust anyone.” Some see God as this kind of Father who gives us encouraging words but in the end is waiting to see us fall on our faces.
This isn’t God. According to Hebrews 2:14-18; 4:14-16, our God is the Father who holds our hand as He teaches us to walk. He sent Jesus into the earth, experiencing what we experience. He is now there, not testing us to see if we’ll do as good as our older brother, but rather, extending a hand to see if we’ll take the help He offers. He is not waiting to see when we’ll fall on our faces. Rather, He knows we’ll fall on our faces and is instead wanting to carry us so we won’t. He recognizes that at times we’ll jump out of His arms and fall on our faces anyway. As we see Jesus deal with Peter when he began to sink, God is there to pick us back up when we turn and cry out to Him.
Too many of us are afraid we are going to get to judgment and find that God might have backed up an extra step so we’ll miss His hand and drown while He watches smiling. Not so. If we will let Him, God will lead us to salvation by the hand and be there to enfold us into eternal life.
How do you view God? How does it impact your daily walk with Him?