The faith of our father
The spice box
by Sharon Robertson, Lt. Colonel –
Periodically we as Christians are challenged (and/or challenge others) with the question, “What do you think about God?”
That is a question worthy of our most earnest consideration and response—but here is another age-old question that is less common and equally challenging: “ What does God think about you and me, simple human beings trying to get along the best we can in this very complex and perplexing world?” Or, as the psalmist put it in the eighth Psalm,
The moon and the stars, which you have set in place.
What is man, that you are mindful of him,
The son of man, that you care for him?
What is man, from God’s perspective? What does the Bible reveal about his private thoughts?
Well, for one thing, it reveals that you and I are (to put it modestly) his special creation. Mankind alone, as far as we know, was handcrafted by God, and inbreathed by his Spirit. He sees us as living souls, and wants us to share his eternal dwelling place with him.
Secondly, he made us in his image; he alone fully perceives that image in us. He continually seeks to appeal to that image of God in us, calling us to himself. Though we may be lost to him, he never thinks of us as the enemy. No matter what we do, he strives for our reconciliation to him, knowing that we will never feel totally whole without him.
Then too, God knows that we are not perfect, that we are indeed “works in progress,” and yet he has faith in us. He sees the potential in us, and is willing to help us to achieve that potential. And, strangely enough, God believes that we have in us the ability to make good decisions! He gifted us with free will, the right and responsibility to make decisions that will impact our own lives and those of others around us. He respects our decisions, rather than treating us as mindless automatons, powerless to do other than follow his orders.
God sees us as individuals, each one gifted by him with the potential to accomplish his purposes in a way that will contribute meaningfully to the building of his kingdom on earth. He does not see us as successes or failures, as we are often judged by the standards set by the age, but rather delights in sons and daughters who choose to please him through loving obedience and service.
God looks at us, and sees us as we are. The Bible makes it clear that he is not always pleased with what he sees: he can be disappointed, he can be angered, he can be grieved, he can be frustrated, but he cannot be fooled; nor does he give up on us.
God sees us as family, the object of his love—sometimes rebellious, sometimes questioning, sometimes suffering, and sometimes flatly rejecting him—but still family, loved with a passion that led to the offering of his beloved Son Jesus to make an atonement for our sins.
How does God see you? How does God see me? As his dear child, needing him as only a child can need his Father; as his dear child, lost and incomplete without him. As his dear prodigal children, whom he would gladly embrace in arms of love and acceptance, if only we would reward his faith in our ability to exercise our God-given freedom of choice, and return to him.