Lesson Three was one of my favorites because, to tell the truth, I find great comfort in a God I can’t control. Oh sure, I sometimes try to treat God like my personal Santa Claus, but of course that never works. Years ago, Barry and I attended a church that emphasized asking God for all kinds of things–healing, jobs, marriage restoration, financial help. While it’s true that God is our source for life itself, I don’t like it when the focus is all about me. Look, I have NO TROUBLE focusing on me. My trouble is focusing on God who is SO MUCH BIGGER than me. I don’t need help worshiping myself. I need help remembering that God is a holy, awe-inducing, incomprehensible, uncontrollable God who is worthy of every ounce of devotion I can give.
In The Chronicles of Narnia, when the children first learn about the great lion Aslan, they ask if he is “safe,” being a lion and all. Their friend replies, “‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good.”
That’s the kind of God I want to worship. Not a safe God. A God who challenges and stretches me, but who simultaneously fills the new spaces created by the stretching. A God I cannot tame but who is so good I have nothing to fear. Jesus said of his own life that he had the power to lay it down at will and the power take it back up again. That he chose to do so proves his wild and fierce devotion to us. Why would I not return love like that?
“No one takes [my life] from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:18