The Paradox of God
So, there’s this enormous paradox about the identity of God as revealed in the Bible that I am at a loss as to how to figure out. Jesus called his disciples, and by extension, all of us who are his followers, his friends. We are called to intimacy and closeness, and a deep relationship with our Heavenly Father. I get that. I’ve been told that my whole life and I understand that it’s a crucial, crucial part of the Christian faith.
But here’s what I don’t get. I am also called to revere God, to honor him as the sovereign Lord of the universe, the Almighty King whose word is law, whose precepts are non-negotiable and whose identity far, far, FAR beyond my human comprehension. As his disciple, I am supposed to be constantly in awe of the vastness of his glory, in the same way that Moses trembled and fell and couldn’t even handle being in the presence of God on Mount Sinai.
So, how do I juggle these two facets of God? Because, if God is my friend, then I want to be honest with him. I want to pour my heart out to him and express my anger towards him if that’s what I feel, and express my gratitude for him if that’s what I feel.
But expressing anger toward God feels…disrespectful? I don’t know how to share intimacy with God without trying to bring him down to my level. How do I share intimacy with a Creator I will never be able to understand? A God who is perfect and just and holy and…a God who IS LOVE…? I feel as though the very fact of being in his presence ought to make me hush in an awe, whereas if He were my friend, being in his presence would make me gasp for joy and run to embrace him.
So it’s a paradox that I don’t understand. God is my Almighty King. God is also my Friend. But what does that mean for my daily prayer time with him? Can I really be honest and respectful at the same time? Because sometimes the honest thoughts that my heart feels for God are also disrespectful.