A long time ago I prayed to love God. Slowly, that prayer was answered. It came to be that the name of God brings joy to my heart and a smile to my face. I like to learn about him and (especially) to praise him. Well, part of me does. There is still that sinful rebellious part that couldn’t care less but it’ll be gone when God gives us our new bodies and completes our redemption.
I say all that to say that I’ve found something that helps me in my depression: talking about God, praising him – anything that involves focusing on him. Not prayer, because that often focuses on anything but him. I think this is most likely related to the way I view God. Beautiful things always make me happy; the sun, green grass, bright colors, flowers, the sky, etc. But when I feel depressed, their effect is minuscule and only lasts for an instant. Talking about God is different. It’s stronger than all those things put together and it lasts a lot longer too.
I’m thankful for that because one of the things that have worried me over the past few weeks has been my inability to find comfort anywhere. I’m in pain of the kind that makes people turn to drugs or alcohol, but I’m not taking to anything of the sort because (1) I’ve been told that it makes things worse and (2) I’ve been told that we can find more help in God than in those things. So, for a long time, I wondered why turning to God (praying, reading my Bible) was completely unhelpful. I remember one day telling God that I was sorry that I choose to handle my depression in less than wholesome ways, but I was told that I could find comfort in him and I wasn’t getting any.
So this is good. When I talk about God or praise him, I focus on him in a way that I rarely do during my prayers and Bible reading. That is, I focus on his greatness. I’m smiling even as I write this because thinking about God’s greatness makes me so happy. How can I describe it? Imagine the most beautiful, brilliant and colorful thing you’ve ever seen. It’s even better if it’s something you can describe as good in the fullest sense of the word. God is an infinitely magnified version of that. If you can still comprehend that, you haven’t magnified it enough. 🙂
His goodness is one the things I like to talk about. One specific aspect of that is his kindness. He gives freely and abundantly to us. He’s created this whole beautiful world for us. He didn’t have to. He didn’t have to give us such delicious food. Or give us the chance to be his friends and children and servants. He didn’t have to send his son to die for us. It’s one thing to die for an enemy, but it’s another thing to let your son do it. Kindness is too weak a work to describe it. There isn’t a word strong enough. ‘Love’ does not even cover it unless I imagine love as something grander and richer in meaning that I can comprehend.
God as King
This is one of the most important pictures in my conception of God. He is King over the whole universe by right. He created it – from the tiniest grasshopper to the farthest galaxies in the cosmos. He is far greater, more majestic and incomprehensible that them all. Their beauty and complexity are all his work. As Hezekiah said, ““Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, enthroned between the cherubim, you alone are God over all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth.” Not only is all of creation his, all of creation are his servants. So you can see why it is so amazing that he has chosen to give us his image, take on our lowly form and live and dwell with us. He has even gone so far as to call us his children and friends, and to give us his spirit. Is he not good?
Even his power is incomprehensible, as is his wisdom. What better king could there then be for the world he has created?
God as Father
This is the one I have not yet completely developed. I find it hard to picture it. Someone told me that he teaches us to help him in his work and to be more like him and that like a father with his young children, he lets us try again when we fall and he does not do the work for us even though he can. He lets us grow and learn. But I still do not see it as clearly.
But I do know that he is good. And I long for the day when his kingdom is established on earth.
How do you think about God? Comment on his attributes and character like I have done. Tell me why you love him. You’ll be helping me a lot.