I was talking to my friend Rachel tonight about the concept of going into the wilderness. So many questions are constantly going through my mind every day, yet I never seem to sit down and figure out the answers. How do I grab hold of all the love that God is offering me? How can I seek Him with my whole heart? How can I accept that He is seeking me with all of His heart?
I have been thinking a lot today about what it is that God and I really need. Something clicked in my mind when Rachel brought up the wilderness, and I realized that some time in the wild with God is what my heart is seriously longing for. Rachel was talking about how many people in the Bible spent significant time in the wilderness alone with God, some for years and even decades. In our culture today, that would be absurd and a total waste of time. We could be doing so much for God during those months, but yet we choose to do “nothing”.
However, there is something seriously missing in my life. It’s not about “having God” or “being saved.” God isn’t something that I can possess. Oh my goodness, God is not something I can possess. It’s also not about having all the right answers to all the questions asked of me. When put to the test, I can provide a pretty good theological argument on just about any subject. I know a lot of things about God, or at least I think I do, but how much do I really know God? Who is God to me? And not even just to me, but who is God? For surely He is not because I am…I am because He is…
A.W. Tozer wrote: “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us…Worship is pure or base as the worshiper entertains high or low thoughts of God. For this reason the gravest question before the Church is always God Himself, and the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.”
I loved that quote the first time I read it and even highlighted it, but today when I went back to that quote, I was awestruck by the truth it proclaims. Everything I say or do in life reflects who I conceive God to be like. I don’t even know how to go down that road.
I asked Rachel an impossible question tonight. I asked her to describe God. What possessed me to ask that question, I don’t know, but I have been asking it to myself ever since. How would I describe God? The answer I gave her, and the one that I am going to attempt to explain is this: When I think of God, it’s like I’m looking at the sunset.
It’s really hard for me to grasp a hold of God in the city. Some people can do it, and God bless them, but I need the country. I need nature and the outdoors. When I think about sitting in the presence of God, I think about quietly sneaking out into a field at dusk, trying not to disturb anything that is happening. The wind blowing gently on my face and the coolness of the breeze is just enough to make me pull the sleeves of my jacket over my hands to keep them warmer, the fresh air surrounding me, and a gigantic sky above me. Colors streak across the vast expanse as far as I can see, and all of nature literally stops in wonder at what is happening. This portrait that God is painting for these 15 minutes will never look the same again; every day is a different masterpiece. My breath escapes me and I am captured by a beauty that I am so close to that I believe that I can touch it, yet so big that I cannot fathom it. All I can think is, “Wow.”
When I think about God, I feel like a little kid in awestruck wonder, eyes big and mouth wide open. Who is this God who created and continues to create all this every day? Who am I that this God would even care about me? While so many people scramble around their lives from day to day wondering if God exists or cares about them, God is patiently waiting, constantly creating and being Him. He still paints the sunset every night and the sunrise every morning. Most of us miss it.
When I think about God, I just want to take off running through that field, shouting at the top of my lungs and dancing my heart out. I want to spin in circles and feel the air swooshing around me, and fall into the soft grass and bask in the sweet contentment of His presence. What a mystery this God is, and what a wonder that I can call Him mine!
When I think about God, something deep inside me aches for more and more. It is both a wonderful and terrible feeling, to be loved and to love until it hurts. I want to sleep but I don’t want to miss a moment. It’s like going for days without water and then finding all the water you could ever drink.
When I think about God, I think of wide open spaces with snow-capped mountains and not a paved road in sight. I think of a gorgeous lake, and the sight of geese landing on the surface, spraying droplets of water all around them. The sun is peeking through the trees, and I can see the rays of yellow-orange light streaming through the air. There is no sound but birds singing joyfully to each other, and the rustling of a bush as two squirrels chase each other to and fro. Not a care in the world. Oh, what it would be like to just BE.
When I think about God, my heart longs for the wilderness, a place where nothing else matters but who God is. How do I describe God? It’s like I’m looking at a sunset. I don’t really know how else to explain it.