In a recent post my friend Jaime posed the question, "What is your view of God?" As I pondered, I realized I couldn't articulate my response in a short comment on her blog. Thus I decided to expand the thought to a post of my own. With this post, I extend Jaime's question to you. What is your view of God?
In May, my friend Amanda and I went on pilgrimage to Holland, Michigan to see the tulips. We wandered across acres of tulips in long rows. There were tulips of every color--dozens of shades of red from firetruck red to maroon to "King's Blood." There were all shapes of tulip petals from smooth to flutted to jagged to pointed. After admiring thousands of tulips, we continued down the road to Lake Michigan. It was bitterly cold. My teeth chattered and my fingers grew red and numb. The wind pelted us with sand and the crashing waves sprayed us with icy water. The water was gray and brown and white and powerful. I loved it.
On our drive home, Amanda and I discussed the differences in beauty between the cultivated tulip garden and the fierce waves at the state park. They were stunningly beautiful, in immensely different ways. To classify beauty relating only to the acres of tulips, would be to miss the beauty of the awesome power of the waves.
In the same way, to view God as the God of love and goodness, without acknowledging the holiness and righteousness of his character, would be a lacking perception. Our society would like to believe in a God of love who won't send anyone to hell. God is a God of love. There is no greater demonstration of love than of God sending His only son to redeem cursed mankind. Yet He is also a God of justice and righteousness and mercy. He will return and judge the world.
C.S. Lewis characterized Aslan, the lion who symbolizes Christ in Chronicles of Narnia, as not a tame lion. Mr. Beaver tells Lucy in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, "'Course he isn't safe. But he's good." God is capable of wildest power; yet He demonstrates extreme love.
God is the one who sends lightning across the sky, but He's also the God who creates the softness of a baby's skin. To focus solely on His strength and power and justice would be to miss the personal love of God.
I remind myself that my feelings do not alter God's character. Whether it is a day of cultivated tulips, or a day of a thunderstorm, or a day of wacky hormones, God remains the same. "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever" (Hebrews 13:8 NIV). Whatever my perception, God remains. He is.