I love God. No really, I do. I have all sorts of love for God. I love Him like a very little girl loves her father because not only does He love her but He also knows what's best for her even when she doesn't. Not to mention all the monsters in reality or her imagination flee when He's around.
I love God like a dog loves its master. I may or may not pay rapt attention to Him in the moment but I think He's the best thing since my squeaky toy and no matter how many trash bins, skunks or rabbit trails I simply must go check out we both know it's Him I'm coming back to.
I love God like I love my sisters and brothers, I would do anything for Him and really enjoy hanging out even if we've spent almost equal amounts of time fighting and playing.
I love God like I love my friends, He gives me thoughts besides my own to think and encourages me to be myself even when it isn't pretty.
I love God like I love my Mom, because I know that no matter what I ever do He's gonna be there for me just because that's who He is. Not to mention He's already seen me through every triumph, failure, embarrassment, low spot, silly spot, and emotional outburst already. He keeps giving Himself, and still hasn't given up on me. In fact, He's proud of me.
Not only that, but I trust God. I am so confident that He is the hero of the story He could seem to be the villain for an indefinite amount of time and I would still believe in His goodness. In spite of the fact that I know He is ultimately in control of everything and my life still sucks a good portion of the time. I know that He is good.
One time, I realized that His goodness didn't match up with my life story the way I thought it should. So I told Him He was a fraud, a liar, and a villain. I won't tell the whole story here but let's say that He treated me with such kindness that I am convinced for a lifetime of His goodness.
There's just one rub. In spite of the love I have for Him, in spite of the trust I place in Him, in spite of the goodness I have seen in Him, He is still scary. The truth is, He plain freaks me out. Makes me feel panicky. Makes me want to close my eyes and pretend He's not really that big, or . . . other-than-me.
Sometimes, instead of inviting me to His level, I wish He would just settle for mine. Mine is so much nicer than His. I wish that He would let "goodness" mean "mildly adventurous", "nicely unpredictable" and "reasonably comfortable".
I know that He knows best but isn't there another way to know Him besides the one that leads straight through hell? I wish He would have set life up with lower stakes. You know, made it a poker game, instead of a war.
Goodness is much more beautiful than I had imagined and much more severe than I had hoped for. Goodness hurts. Excruciatingly. Don't get me wrong, its a healing hurt, but the pain to bring healing is sometimes worse than the pain of the original wound.
In fact, excruciatingly is oddly appropriate because the ultimate picture of God's goodness was His plan to crucify Himself for our healing. God's goodness not only invites me to be healed and whole as He is, He invites me to be wounded willingly, as He was, for the healing of others.
I cringe and sometimes sob when I think of what His goodness might do next, what He might ask for. I fear the very goodness I love and trust Him for. But then I think of Jesus, not just vaguely fearing what God might ask, but knowing what He had already asked and begging in desperation for another way. His desperation and fear did not make Him any less. If He asks me to join Him in His suffering, then at least I know He empathizes in my trepidation.
I have known Him, I do know Him and I will know Him, all through the fellowship of His suffering.