You Don't Know Him9:47 PM
They told me He was a good God. A loving God. "Smile!" they said. "Jesus loves you!" He was a just God, they said. A holy God. "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty," we sang on several Sundays. They told me that He sent His Son to die on the cross for my sins so that we could go to heaven. "Trust in Jesus," they said. "Be good," they said. "Read your Bible and pray," they said.
But they didn't tell me this.
He didn't die so that I could go to heaven. He saw me; He chose me; from the foundation of the world He knew me. In the crazy, mixed-up love He calls grace, He pursued me from the beginning of time, knowing my fall, planning my salvation, dying so that, yes, I could go to heaven, but that is only amazing because I will spend all eternity worshiping the love that first loved me.
He loves me. Not in a kindly, pie-in-the-skyly way, like an affectionate ruler giving common grace to all, but in a particular, unique, one-on-one way. A love that is incomprehensible by trite phrases and analogies to human love and friendship.
Because He is God. This God I pray to -- He is God. The same God who spoke the light into existence spoke, "I have loved you with an everlasting love" to His beloved. The same God whose fingers are speckled with stardust formed my innermost parts. The same God who created the mind of Plato and C. S. Lewis, Dickens and Aristotle -- the same God, the same genius, knew every facet of my personality before time started. The same God who inspired Peter and changed Paul appeared to my soul and offered the same Self, the same call, the same strength.
I know Him. At least, I know a little bit of Him. And this isn't a fun fact: this is reality. It's like living next door to the President and having him call me every afternoon to see if my cold has let up or if I made an A on my chemistry test.
Don't you think that's worth telling others about? This relationship? Not some sort of dry philosophy about life or another list of rules to follow or even a hope that one will escape that unmentionable fiery place. Don't you think that when people ask who you are or where you're going, that this love, this relationship, this special intimacy to the God of the universe should show up at least somewhere?
Don't you think that this God, who is God and who loves us beyond all comprehension and common sense, don't you think He deserves more than praise songs on Sunday and a half-hearted prayer addressing Great Aunt Brunhilda's third cousin's sister's rheumatism?
Don't you think that this overwhelming knowledge would just shatter everything that formerly defined you and that you'd walk around in this happy, awestruck daze that oozes out of every transformed pore of your being?
Don't you think?
This God you thought you worshipped? You don't know Him.
They didn't tell me this. But I'm telling you now. And unlike the happy Sunday school sayings...this is going to change your life.
Photo Credit: NASA and ESA