For nearly three years, all I’ve been able to do is grumble in disgust at the words, “Personal Relationship with God.” Today, I’m getting personal with God. Considering that I’m not a deist (most days) and that I would like to believe God is active in this world, it is difficult to deny the likelihood that God is personal. Consequently, God is also relational. But, I’m not talking about some touchy-feely, mushy, psychosexual-deism. Jesus is not my “homeboy;” Jesus is our redeemer, God is our creator, and the Holy Spirit has given us the gift of faith. We are inherently connected to the divine, which means we have a relationship to God, and it is undoubtedly personal.
As creator, God made us, gave us this earth, and said this is, “for you” (Gen. 9). As redeemer, God died for us and declared our forgiveness (Matt. 26:26-30). As spirit, God gave us grace and set us free (Rom. 8). How can I not take that personal? At a finite level, when I create something (this blog, songs, poems, etc.) it is deeply personal. If I make sacrifices of myself for others, it is immensely personal. If I give someone a gift (without expectation of reciprocation) or receive a gift, it is heartwarmingly personal. Yet, I’m a finite human being; if creation, sacrifice, and gifts are personal for me, how much more are they personal for God?
Honestly, personal isn’t always pleasant and relationships aren’t without pain. God may have made us and gave us this earth, but this doesn’t mean we were all given an equal or, seemingly, fair portion. God may have given us the spirit, which sets us free, but we are still here to toil and groan (Rom. 8:22-23). God may have given the ultimate sacrifice for our redemption and forgiveness, but that doesn’t stop life’s pain.
Finally, from August 3, 2010 to August 3, 2011; I’ve had one reason after the other to groan and get personal with God. Unemployment, girlfriend troubles, Mono, injured hamstring, ex-girlfriend, bankruptcy, and severely injured father; with a list like that in twelve months, it might be easier to be a deist. Conversely, I believe God is personal and relational; having compassion upon my pain, my hardship, and my groaning. I’m all for getting personal with God, even if personal isn’t some pretty, peachy, cozy, façade. God suffered for us; God suffers with us.