How Do You View God? - The Crucible Project
In October of 1995, there was a bit of a problem between a U.S. naval ship and Canadian authorities off the coast of Newfoundland. I came across this actual transcript of a radio conversation:
- U.S. ship—“Please divert your course .5 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.”
- Canadian reply—“Recommend you divert your course 15 degrees to the south to avoid a collision.”
- U.S. ship—“This is the captain of a U.S. Navy ship. I say again, divert your course.”
- Canadian reply–“No. I say again, you divert your course.”
- U.S. ship—“This is the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea. We are a large warship of the U.S. navy. Divert your course now!”
- Canadian reply–“This is a lighthouse. Your call.”
When we are going through difficult times and send out distress signals to God, it’s important to know who we’re really talking to. Because the truth is, our perception of God will determine our direction— it will either draw us closer to Him or keep us drifting aimlessly.
Some of us, based on spoken and unspoken messages we received at home and possibly even in church, grew up believing that God is a God of wrath, ready to inflict judgment on us the second we do anything wrong. Rather than picturing a loving God with arms wide open to us, we see an angry God with a finger of shame pointing in our faces.
Some view God as being distant and preoccupied. It’s not that He doesn’t care about us, it’s just that He’s got more important things to do than listen to what’s going on in our lives.
Some of us have come to believe that God is continually disappointed in us; that we could never possibly do enough to earn His love — that is reserved for those who have their spiritual act together.
And, perhaps most devastating to our hopes of actually having a relationship with God, some of us see Him as being indifferent. We want to experience intimacy with Him but, deep in our soul, we’re quite sure that we don’t really matter to Him.
For us to find hope and healing, peace and purpose in our lives we need to know who God is — who He REALLY is.
The Bible paints a picture of a God who is a loving Father, a Wonderful Counselor, a Healer of the broken-hearted. The book of Proverbs tells us that He is not only our friend, He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Did you ever stop to consider the significance of that statement?
Most every one of us has come to realization that our “friends” do not always remain our friends. Those neighborhood kids we grew up with we may have completely lost track of. Our closest friends in high school often become only casual acquaintances in our adult lives. Our friends today may not be our friends tomorrow. But, our brother is always our brother. Not even geographical distance can change that biological fact.
God is a Friend that sticks closer than a brother. In other words, He is Friend who will always be our friend. He will always love us; He will always pursue closeness with us; He will always long to spend time with us. In fact, nothing can separate us from Him.
When we see God for who He really is, we can’t help but be drawn to Him. He is God of second chances. A Father who is never too busy for His kids. A Provider who makes His strength available in our weakness. A Daddy who longs for us to share with Him our dreams and desires, our fears and our failures. If it matters to us, it matters to Him. Because we matter to Him.
By Dan Kuiper
Dan completed his initial Crucible weekend in 2009. He is an author and speaker and leads a ministry called, Finding Father’s Love which helps wounded souls find love, healing, and grace in relationship with the Heavenly Father. Dan’s first book, When Father is a Bad Word, illustrates the parallels between our relationship with our earthly father and our perception of our Heavenly Father. Dan leads Finding Father’s Love Seminars across the country, offering hope and healing to those who have experienced brokenness from dysfunctional family relationships. More information can be found on Dan’s website: www.dankuiper.com