God is God, I am not. / by Louis Holstein

Photo by  Ashley Holstein

When I sin and need God to forgive me, I repent and ask him to do so. I then need Him to (rather quickly) show that He has forgiven me. How can He do this? I have some ideas. He could do this by leading me to scriptures that penetrate my heart, or He by speaking to my soul, or He could give me all the feels by His wonderful presence. Yet, even though I desperately need these elements to know He has forgiven me, He rarely does them. Instead, I get silence.

In the silence, my mind goes into a tizzy wondering if God loves me, or if my sin was the final straw. Perhaps I have finally run out of His grace. At that thought, I find myself sinking into some sort of sadness that becomes almost crippling. What’s the point of seeking a God who is done with me? Of course, over some time, I find that I am able to discern His presence once again. Eventually He speaks, and eventually, scripture is illuminated. My heart is full again, but not before this vicious cycle of doubt and sorrow.  

This morning I found myself in a place of desperation. Of course, it has been several days of repentance and silence. The cycle was in full swing. Surely God's silence must be because of something I had done. After all, that is what I do. When someone hurts or frustrates me. I give them the silent treatment. It was in that moment that God spoke, “I am not like you.” 

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Of course, God is not like me! God is God and I am not! In the midst of my astonishment that He would state the obvious to me, I begin to think, "do I really believe that?" Perhaps this morning spelled out a different answer. Do I create God in my own image? At times, I think I do. Maybe you do too. For me, It is in my constant desire for approval and striving for perfection. I've puts those restraints on myself, God never did that. In fact, in God's presence, I have begun to realize that He is not looking to approve me and have me reach perfection on my own. He is looking for one thing: that I seek Him. And yes, it goes without saying that in my seeking Him I become more like Him, and as I become more like him I am approved by Him and grow in perfection- but those are characteristics of seeking Him, not characteristics of my own doing. My relationship with God is less about what I do and more about who He is. When He is silent, I have to remember He is in control. He has not left me and is not mad at me. His love transcends noise and silence. Just when you think you have God figured out, remember He is not like you. His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts higher than our thoughts.

He is not like us. May we grow, to be like Him.

-Louis