Getting to Know God behind the Shower Curtain

Yesterday’s post, “Talking to God behind the Shower Curtain,” began a discussion of my early morning shower reflections.  In it I looked at the types of prayers we offer to God….

My reflections in the shower, however, went much further than just the types of prayers I pray.  I recognized and understood at a entirely new level four key attributes of God and His character – attributes that encouraged, blessed and challenged me.  Attributes that might also encourage, bless and challenge you.

  • God is accessible.  Just as my bathroom more closely resembled a revolving door than a locked door, even more so is God.  He invites, expects and even longs for us to come to Him in good times, and bad.    God doesn’t keep office hours.  God doesn’t have limited visiting hours.  God can’t be found only in certain cathedrals or countries.   God is present with you in your circumstances, and makes Himself known to you.  He summons and welcomes you, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” [Matthew 11:28]
  • God is patient.  I became quite impatient after my steady stream of visitors yesterday morning as I tried showering.  I had other things on my mind, other things I was busy with, and became frustrated at constantly being interrupted.  God, on the other hand, isn’t like that.  As an accessible God, His business is about establishing a relationship with His creation, even if we’re slow in accepting His invitations.  He isn’t too busy or preoccupied.  We read, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” [2 Peter 3:9]  In fact, when God introduces Himself in Exodus, he states, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” [34:6]
  • God is intimate.  Taking a shower with only a shower curtain separating you and your talkative children can be a rather strange experience, particularly if you tend to be a private person like I am.  God summons us to that level of closeness, and even more.  He welcomes us to a deeply intimate relationship, no longer calling us servants, but friends. [John 15:15]  But even more than friends, God welcomes us with a compassionate embrace [Luke 15:20] and rejoices over us as a lover – “As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.” [Isaiah 62:5]

  • God is vulnerable.  As I conversed with my children through the shower curtain, I imagined the Wizard of Oz, hiding behind his curtain, using tricks to give the impression of being great and powerful.  God, on the other hand, is nothing like the Wizard of Oz.  He does not rely on magic or props to make Himself appear other than He is.  He is mighty and powerful – the Creator God who holds the very universe in place. [Colossians 1:17]

But that is not all.  God is also vulnerable.  Existing in perfect community and relationship in the Trinity, He is vulnerable in relationship with Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  As God interacts with humanity, we see incredible vulnerability as He became the least, humbled Himself, suffered greatly, and gave His very life out of love. [Luke 9:22]  And in seeking relationship with each one of us, He makes Himself  vulnerable, recognizing all true relationships require vulnerability.

As you think about God being accessible, patient, intimate and vulnerable, how does that transform the images you have of Him?  Which one of these truths are the most meaningful to you today?  Which is most challenging?

Finally, if you follow Twitter, Blog or Facebook discussions regarding women in ministry, you surely have heard an impassioned response to John Piper’s recent comments about God giving Christianity a “masculine feel.”  Personally, as I read the Bible, I notice a plethora of metaphors used by the writers that could be categorized as both “masculine” and “feminine”.  But if anything, I think God is fully Other – a God of Truth.  A God of Justice.  A God of Hope.  A God of Righteousness.

If Christianity is to have any sort of “feel”, it should be a “godly feel” that emulates and encapsulates God’s core values.  In the beginning God created man and woman in His image, and sadly today, we have tended to return the favor, creating Him in ours.  Personally, a God who fully embodies both the complexities and simplicity of justice and forgiveness, strength and humility, and transcendence and immanence – a God who is accessible, patient, intimate and vulnerable – a God who cannot be boxed into a singular masculine metaphor – is my God.  That is the God about whom the Bible was written, the God who hung on the cross to redeem and restore, the God who looked upon His entire creation – man and woman alike – and declared it was very good. [Genesis 1:31a]