Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Type of God He Is

“So where was God when I was being abused? What type of God would let something like that happen to someone?” Those are good questions. They’re tough questions but good questions. Here’s another good question: “What type of God would let something like that happen to Himself?” Don’t be too quick to dismiss this as an attempt to avoid the hard questions. It’s one question that might actually help us gain some perspective on the others.

What hurts when we think about God is His apparent aloofness. It seems that He doesn’t care. He didn’t do anything to stop our abuse. He could have. But He didn’t. He didn’t strike our abusers dead before they hurt us. He didn’t give us enough power to fight them off and escape to safety. He didn’t protect us from them in the first place. It seems like God just stands by and watches all types of horrible things happen to people and never does anything about it. What type of God is that?

While this may be true of the gods of other religions, we find something different in Christianity. In Christianity, God took on flesh, entered our world, suffered, and died on a cross. His death was for sin—all sin. So that means, when Jesus died He suffered due to our abusers. He knows personally the type of pain that they bring. He has suffered because of them Himself. That’s what type of God He is.

What’s more is that He knows fully the anguish of our feelings of abandonment and resentment. He has taken these upon Himself, too. He has taken upon Himself our anger, hatred, and doubts. All of it. He isn’t a God who watches our experiences from afar. He knows them up close and personal. That’s what type of God He is.

Why would He do this? The prophet writes: “He was wounded and crushed because of our sins; by taking our punishment, he made us completely well” (Isaiah 53:5 CEV). Jesus wants to heal us.

God values freedom, which means evildoers are able to hurt others. But God hasn’t left us without hope. He is able to heal all our wounds, including those done by others and the self-inflicted ones. That’s the type of God He is.

Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. —Luke 12:6,7