So…recently I’ve been lonely. Not, “I don’t have friends or anyone to talk to lonely”-I’m blessed with amazing, loving friendships and family members, but that sort of “I desire a daily companion- loneliness”. I want a person that knows me. All of me. And that I can process my daily events and ponderings with. One day when recognizing this yearning in my soul (sorry if that sounds dramatic) I remembered that God is my ultimate companion, and that any desire I have for companionship in this life is but a shadow of the deepest, most fulfilling, indescribable companionship found in the perfect person of our Triune God.
So I decided to try and imagine God as my companion.
I sat down to my dinner of delicious leftovers and asked Him the first question I would ask an earthly companion which was “How was your day?”
I imagined God sitting with me, eating dinner…well…not really Him eating…just me, and him just being there, telling me about the best and worst parts of His day. With a twinkle in His eye He told me of a beautiful concerto Bach had written in heaven today, and how he had just discovered how to use chord progressions to move buildings. So the structure they were in was spinning as he was playing! “You’ll love it when you get here! It’s wild!” He told me about a teenager in Cambodia who was just born again-and the eruption from the angels when it happened!
He told me about a hard part of his day too. “There is a daughter of mine in Mississippi who has prayed to me for 3 years for a son, and I keep telling her no. In fact, today she got back the negative results from in vitro and she cried and cried and cried. It was so painful to hear and see her pain. I moved in the heart of her sisters and friends to call her that day to comfort her, but still I know she is aching.” I asked God why he kept saying no? The answered I imagined him giving blew my mind. “Because in 6 years, the world will be exactly where it needs to be for her son Judah to be born.” I must’ve had a face of panic at the thought of 6 MORE years of heartache for this poor woman, because that’s when I imagined the Lord showing me a little glimpse of His plan.
It appeared before our eyes like a Star Trek-ish computer screen. And the gist of what I imagined Him saying was this: “See I need him born when this, this, this, this, and this has already happened, but I need to move in these people, this country, and this university before that can begin…then at this time I’ll put him here and he will fulfill THIS plan I have for his life. It’s beautiful. It is perfect. As much as I hate to see her cry, I KNOW that my plan is flawless, and I literally cannot have him born ONE day earlier.”
After that conversation, He asked me about my day and I imagined little comments He would respond back with, and questions He would ask. I rambled about different life things and imagined his lighthearted and comical responses. It was an enjoyable time! So enjoyable in fact, that I did that same sort of thing a few days later on Easter, when I took a walk and imagined talking with Him about random reflections and thoughts on the resurrection.
Well that’s what I thought until I realized that the god that was answering my questions and responding to me and laughing at all my witty remarks, sounded a lot like Betty. In fact…that god thought my questions were interesting and barely ever talked about his own holiness or my sinfulness or the gospel really at all. And for that week, I had started to replace God with this imaginary god.
And it makes sense why I started to do that. Because that god is comfy and very relatable and addresses my particular, everyday situations. But that god is not God. That is simply my made up thoughts. My God, my True God, is not hiding in the nooks and crannies of my imagination, but boldly standing in every word, line, and page of the inerrant Scriptures. And that is where I need to CONSTANTLY be in order to live my life in a way that pleases God. As entertaining/fun as it may be to imagine God and how He would respond, that should NOT ever be my first line of defense against anything. God’s word is all sufficient. In it’s pages lie the revelation of who God is, what He likes, dislikes, how He responds, why He responds, and through it I have the privileged to deeply get to know God. Me! Know God! It’s foolish to depend on my imagination and be more thrilled by that, than by the true character and nature found in Scripture of this mind-blowing, Betty-loving, good and sovereign, abundantly gracious, infinitely creative, joyful, righteous, perfect King, Friend, and Savior.
So don’t just depend on your mind, imagination, or previous knowledge about God in your relationship with Him. We must steadfastly be in His word to not be led astray by any false gospels, or simply entertained with weak caricatures of a god that we can comprehend. Don’t go to bed tonight without reading The Book and reflecting on what it teaches you about who God is-because He is bigger and better than anything we could ever imagine.