Interesting concept, don’t you think?
Probably billions and billions of answers to that soul searching query.
I can with certainty only offer one, and that would be mine.
I know that God is real. He lives. He loves. He cares. He intervenes. He listens. He answers. He lets us struggle to figure things out – because it will help us to grow.
But to me, how could a God who loves us NOT let us suffer?
We see more and more parents who want to protect their children from any pain. We don’t keep score at games because we don’t want them to understand what it means to lose. We stay up doing their homework so that they can get the “A” we are sure they deserve. We defensively defend their wrongdoings, making excuses to the offended and then vilifying them behind their backs in front of our children. We throw money at problems that arise and demand results of others to fix things rather than allowing the children to figure it out themselves, even if it means they temporarily fail.
I guess that these people would also be angry with a God who wouldn’t step in and smack those who have hurt them.
The God who I know, who I love, who I follow and seek help from, doesn’t want me to remain a child, constantly dependent.
He wants me to learn, and grow, and feel, and through experience gain wisdom.
Because only then can I turn around and help another along the road.
Ultimately, that is the goal. I am built to know what it means and feels like to lift others to be as happy as I am. Deep down, that is who I am.
Actually, it is who each of us is meant to be.
So, my answer to the question would be that this is what it would mean to have a relationship with God.
The entire relationship is based on us changing, constantly.
Each day brings opportunities to make choices (which we all know is something I feel pretty strongly about). We choose to get up, we choose to spend time with our family before sending them out in the world. We choose to treat our peers with kindness. We choose to try to give more than we take. We choose to stop and be still and notice and then act.
We choose to overcome those natural wirings in our souls that would bring us sadness, and instead work to become more.
We choose to change.
Or at least we keep trying.
But if we are all trying to change at the same time, which we should be, then it can get pretty confusing pretty quickly. What we knew yesterday may be a little different today. Who we knew yesterday may be a little different today.
I know that I need some things to be rock solid day in and day out. I need a home base to return to and feel familiar and peaceful and solid.
Otherwise, I would lose sight pretty quick of where I thought I was headed.
I guess you would call that my foundation.
And that is where the relationship with God comes in.
I can only really change and become the “me” I want to be because He is consistent.
Another one of those oxymorons it would seem.
Yet it rings true within me.
I bet it does to you too.
Of all the relationships, I said that this one is first in importance.
Because without a solid knowledge of who God is and how we fit into His limitless universe, and that we actually really matter to Him, we don’t have much to offer any of the other relationships, including that with ourselves.
Someone once told me that God’s grace isn’t about filling up the gaps in our life; rather, it is about filling us.
I’m grateful that He lets me suffer.
Through the refiner’s fire, I find that I like those who I have relationships with more – more deeply, more intimately, more completely.
Even my relationship with myself.
Because in the end, that is what having a relationship with God is all about – it’s about me changing and becoming better.
He’s just kind of selfless like that.