Relationships have their experiential nature. I'm writing this today because this evening I had one of those truly defining experiential moments. I've had others, but I thought this one was worth sharing, especially considering how theological it was.
I've been reading a book called Truth Is Stranger Than It Used To Be (which I highly recommend) and in it, it was discussing the necessary aspect of complaint in Christian worship. This is something that I've felt strongly about for some time, but this sparked me to think about it with some depth. I pondered (remember, this is meant to be as close to my train of thought as possible with words):
God is God. Because of this, He is the Lord and Master of all of the cosmos and over all of creation. As such, we have no right to come before Him and complain to Him about how He is doing things.
However, because we are now in covenantal relationship with Him, which was cut through Christ, we now have an invitation to go before the throne and complain. Indeed, God requests that He does, and it is important that we do so honestly. David was honest before God; Job was honest before God; We should be honest before God, and should not hold back in case we offend His majesty.
Marriage is a covenant. When I am upset with my wife, I tell her my feelings. I am open before her, and tell her precisely what bothers me about what she did and how it affects me. I do so because I trust her not to throw it back in my face, and because ultimately my desire is reconciliation with her. This can only happen is I openly and honestly express my perspective and reaction to what she has done. With that comes correction and restitution.
With God, to not be honest and to hold back is not to trust His response, and to prefer obedience to proper relationship. Being open doesn't mean that you believe that what you are saying is correct, but that you recognize that this is the perspective that you have, and it needs to be dealt with, and that the only way to deal with it is to go to the source, submit it, and trust that He will value your honesty and reconcile with you. It is a supreme trust.
And how good of a God He is that He is faithful to that trust! That if we come to him complaining, He'll listen and come and reconcile. He may speak from a whirlwind, or He may speak in a still small voice, but He'll come.
God loves me. He really loves me. That love is not simply an emotion, but it motivates action. He pursues me. Yes He reigns, but He really cares about me.
God, You're love is real, and true...At this point, my thoughts really stopped being words. It was more a group of concepts sort of ramming into each, and interacting with each other: blending and merging, sort of like a conceptual kaleidoscope. I had a similar experience once contemplating the Trinity. It is like the ideas almost become pure, leaving their verbal symbols. It sounds chaotic, but when this happens my thinking is actually clearer.
The first time this conceptual kaleidoscope happened the concept of the Trinity was simply made plain to me. In this case, God's love was just before me. I could see it; feel it. All of it's parts and depths were there. It began to feel like God was holding me in His arms: not in a literal way, but definitely in a tangible way. I don't think I can describe it better than that. It was just me and Dad: and it was good. VERY GOOD. I would've been content to just stay there if Esther didn't tell me that it was dinnertime (she actually could tell something was happening with me).
I don't know if I can say much more than this. It was what it was, and I will hold it in my heart. I pray that you all may have a similar experience.