I fear God.
There is healthy fear of God and there is unhealthy fear of God. I tend to think of this as the Psalm 19:9 “clean” fear of the Lord as opposed to a Proverbs 28:1 fear, which I think of as craven fear. There is also a fear that isn’t craven because the terror is real. This is the Hebrews 10:31 “fall into the hands of the living God” fear.
Mostly I fear God in the Psalm 19:9 way, but I have to admit I do feel a cowardly fear of God. I say cowardly because I’m afraid of what He will ask me to do, or how he will use suffering to mold me in His image.
When I was a much younger child of God I would pray to be His instrument, to be made like Him, to be used by Him for His purpose.
Now I pray that it won’t hurt.
So I was thinking about this the other day because He really has been good to me, and all the things that have happened in retrospect really were in my best interest even when they seemed unreasonably painful at the time. Yes, I know it says that very thing in the Bible (it’s spooky how that works).
I wish it were not so, but it seems we must really hurt to really learn.
Someone said to me that God never gives us more than we can handle, then he told me a story about something really horrible that happened and how he had to trust God, and then how it all worked out.
Let me be perfectly clear, the event was HORRIBLE, devastating, insurmountable, catastrophic…
So I asked him, did he, “in the moment”, feel as though God had actually given him MORE than he could handle. His obvious answer was yes, but that he had to choose to give it to God and then it worked out.
So my response to him was that in fact God DOES give us more than we can handle. When we can’t handle it then the only options are to rely on Him or not. Its when we choose to rely on Him the blessing comes.
So yeah, I fear (as in respect) God, and know in my spirit He loves me, but my flesh wants to run and hide because dealing with my sin hurts like death. As my Heavenly Father He actually cares about me and puts in the effort to make me more like Him.
And it really did hurt Him more than it hurts me.