I have a friend named Cathy. Cathy and I had an amazing conversation the other day about relationships; both human-human relationships and God-human relationships.
We found it interesting that we, as humans, tend to project our human-human relationship “issues” onto our God-human relationships.
Take forgiveness. Let’s say I wrong somebody and then go to that person to seek their forgiveness and reconciliation of our relationship. And let’s say that person does not extend their forgiveness and our relationship remains broken. Is it any wonder, then, why it might be hard for me to understand God’s unending and always-there forgiveness? Or is it any surprise why I struggle with the idea of being in a right relationship with God when I sin so frequently?
Or what about pain? Entering into any kind of real relationship is a risk. We run the risk of being hurt by any person with which we enter into relationship. And oftentimes, people do hurt us and we become gun shy when faced with another opportunity to enter into relationship. We struggle with it, then, when we feel like God is allowing pain in our lives. We trusted Him and now we hurt. And it makes it difficult to grow in our trust with Him.
I think it may be tough for many to enter into a relationship with God because most of what we have experienced in our human-human relationships has been broken, frustrating, or painful.
I understand that God is different in His relationships with people than humans. But perhaps thinking this through will help us understand why others are afraid of a relationship with God. Or why the relationship they have with Him is shallow.