I have a couple of fears about God.
And by ‘a couple’ I mean ‘I could fill a book and still come up with a few more things for the cover’.
I fear God is angry. I fear he doesn’t like me. I fear he is actually indifferent and doesn’t even care about me one way or the other.
I fear that he enjoys withholding things from me or giving them to me and then snatching them away. I fear he is disappointed with me. I fear he doesn’t want to know me at all, really.
I have many fears.
I think about this sometimes. I know that God isn’t really like that. I mean I know it but I don’t always know it. I tell myself that God isn’t like that, and then I end up feeling guilty that I’ve been thinking the wrong things about God, so of course he wouldn’t like me at all then, would he?
Today I was thinking about this again, and I wondered what God thinks about it. Usually, of course, I assume he’s angry that I’m getting it wrong again. Which is exactly as helpful as you would imagine. But really, what DOES God think?
Of course I can’t really know what God thinks. But what would I think, if it were me? Suppose my best friend came to me and said she was afraid I don’t like her. Suppose I found out from someone else that my best friend thinks I get a kick out of withholding good things from her. How would I feel?
I can tell you how I’d feel. I’d be absolutely devastated. I’d wonder how she could possibly think that. And I’d wonder what I could do to convince her of the truth. My priority would not be on telling her off for believing lies; my priority would be on trying to restore the relationship, on gently restoring trust.
I’m pretty sure God is sad when I, and other people, believe things about him that aren’t true. But I’m also pretty sure that he values the relationship and wants to maintain it.
I’m sure that he wants me to trust him. And I’m sure he is safe,