Flying home last night I wondered. I was holding my son in my arms and my elbow was killing me, and I didn't care as much as I wanted him to be able to sleep. We'd been delayed because of a storm, which is not such a big deal unless you are travelling with your children. Then, you'd do anything to get them into a comfortable position so they can get the sleep that they so desperately need in order to function well.
I often think of my relationship with God as my Father through my experiences as a father. Last night I was wondering what God felt like when he was holding me.
That's how I see God - holding me, holding you. And being so willing to experience pain so that He can help you get what you need to have in order to be well. God endures the pain so that you can have great life.
Usually when we hear this we run to the cross and talk all about how Jesus' suffering paid the price and provided for our sins - but my son had not sinned. There was nothing my son was doing that was wrong, unnatural or sinful. He was just hoping to sleep. For some, the metaphor breaks down at this point, but I don't think so.
I wonder if God is willing to go through discomfort right now, so that we can have a great, full, rested, well life.
This flies in the face of what I have been taught throughout most of my life. I have been told that my whole existence is all about being good so that I don't make God sad, mad, angry or otherwise provoked. It has always been as if I don't want to screw up and end up having to depend on God - I need to leave him alone to deal with the big stuff like poverty, global warming and televangelists.
So what will it take for me to allow God to suffer for me? What do I have to change in me so that he can minister to me in the full measure that he wants to. It seems a major shift - a wholesale change, where I can no longer earn my way into impressing Jesus.
Sure, salvation is through grace and faith - but what about my rewards in heaven - don't I have to earn them?
I am changing though. I want to just sleep and allow God to suffer for me because he loves me. He loves me even so much more than I need.