God is the same yesterday as He is today.
We've all heard people say it. We've read it. We own it as truth. But is it really as simple as that? Because of that one line statement, people have a hard time believing that God is not still an 'angry' God as He might have appeared to some to be in the Old Testament: the God who flooded the entire world and turned entire cities in to rubble. Is He really the same yesterday as He is today?
I (and this is just me) think, at the cross, everything changed. This includes the character of God. He must have wanted there to be a clear cut way to find grace--a way for their to be instant relationship. No more priests and sacrifice. No more wrath being poured out to knock the stubborn humans back into place. So He looked at His only son...and He saw a way. But don't mistake how hard it must have been for Him to let His son suffer and die for us. He LOVED US that much. There wasn't a flood to wipe us all out and start over. He didn't turn our cities to dust. Instead, He gave His son to save us.
So is He the same? In the sense that we need to be on the watch for His wrath now? Sure, there is coming a judgement day. I know that. I get that. But in the meantime, isn't this thing we're doing, this 'Christian' thing, supposed to be about relationship--between God and others? Do we really need to be telling people in sin how wretched they are? Is that what God did when He gave us Jesus? Or did He go against what His character was up until that moment of Christ's first breath, and show us love?
Maybe He is the same yesterday as He is today. Yesterday, it was March 19, 2012. God was love yesterday. He wasn't pouring out his wrath or beating sinners over the head with Bibles or righteous words. He was more than likely whispering into someone's ear to love on that frazzled woman across the cafe with a look of pain in her eyes. He probably directed someone to give you a friendly smile and tell you how much you mean to them, because it's exactly what you needed to hear in that moment. I'm certain He was giving encouragement to the downhearted through a fellow coworker or friend. But He wasn't giving up on us. He wasn't turning His back on us or getting angry at us. I did not get turned into a pillar of salt and my home was but obliterated. In fact, He blessed me with one heck of a good day. Things weren't perfect, and I still had troubles nagging me, but I felt His love and presence. That was enough. It was more than enough.
Why can't we just accept, that God is love? Is it because we find a God that chooses to love us because we are HIS, weak and silly? Maybe that's our excuse, but in the grand scheme of things, I think it is because it means we will have to learn to love if it is true. I mean, I imagine it isn't easy to love that woman at work who we think dresses cheap and flirts without shame. It isn't easy to hand a measly five dollar bill to the homeless man standing at the corner, because...well...he is probably only going to buy beer with it later on. And what about the weird kid at school? The women that have abortions...the cheaters...the people standing across the political line from you...the people you just 'don't get'...the parent that hurt or abused you...the homosexuals...the criminals...the people you believe deserve death.?
It really is hard to love. So hard that it sometimes requires a great sacrifice on our part to do so. But I guess we're not alone. God did it. He showed us it isn't easy, but it certainly is the only way.
So, yeah. MY God, the way I chose to see Him and believe in Him, is the same yesterday as He is today. Because He's still love. That moment at the cross...changed everything. It changed us all. That moment at the cross gave us a hope and a future. Without it, without that incredible display of unconditional love, we'd be dead by now. None of us deserve our tomorrow without it.
God is patient. God is kind. God is not boastful or proud. God is not rude. God does does not demand His own way. God is not irritable, and keeps no record of wrong. God does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. God does not give up and never loses faith. God is hopeful and endures
through every circumstance.
through every circumstance.