What is God’s position in your life? by Dave Lundquist
Several years ago, I attended a retreat called, "Faith Matters." Here’s a question: is this title an adjective and a noun – meaning "matters of faith"? Or is it a noun and a verb – meaning "faith is important"? It turns out that both are true.
The facilitator of the retreat asked us to find a quiet place and describe our spiritual journey using a method that was unfamiliar to us. If we were "word" people (as I obviously am), then we should use art materials, which she generously provided.
My pastel drawing of my journey showed the peaks and valleys – the ups and downs of my spiritual life. I then drew the hand of God over the entire path, knowing that God was always present with me in good times and bad.
I discovered this drawing again months later. I thought to myself that if I did it again, I would probably draw God’s hand under my path – for two reasons. First, He is beneath me to support me and catch me if I fall. Second, on deep reflection, I realized that I was closer to God at the low points of my journey.
One day I was having a conversation with a friend about where God is. The natural response seems to be, "God is above us." Or, "God is up there" (pointing heavenward). After a bit of conversation about that, we began thinking of other “locations” for God, like beneath, or around, or within.
Do you remember the game Mad Libs? It provided a story with blanks to be filled in by the players, and the blanks had to be a specific part of speech, like NOUN , VERB , etc. Our God-conversation soon evolved into a Mad Libs exercise following this format:
"God is PREPOSITION us to VERB us."
For example, "God is above us to watch over us." We began to go back and forth using this approach. Here are some more examples:
· God is beneath us to support us.
· God is between us to keep us together.
· God is before us to lead us.
· God is around us to protect us.
· God is within us to fill us.
· God is beside us to attend us.
Try it yourself.
As I reflect on all of this, I’ve come to realize that these approaches are flawed. Though there is value and wisdom in them, they limit a limitless God!
I am reminded of a book I read many years ago called, "Your God is Too small" by J. B. Phillips, and another book, which I read more recently called, "The Knowledge of the Holy" by A. W. Tozer. Both books admonish us not to make God in our image, but rather to realize that God is everywhere, everything, and majestic beyond words – yet He still loves each of us immeasurably.