Recently I read a story, A Panther Among Men. It’s a good story and it’s about animals, so what’s not to love. Also, something in the story stuck to me. I’m not going to say exactly what happens, because I hope you read the story yourself (click the underlined link), but one of the characters helps the main character because the main character addressed the character as what the character was.
So many times, I find myself addressing things. Everyone wants to ask or talk about things, wonder what my opinion is (or they don’t and I pray my mouth shut). I address people by their names. I’m addressing you all right now. But one of the things I address daily is God. Then the scripture in Exodus 3 came to mind.
And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? And God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I Am hath sent me unto you.Exodus 3:13-14 KJV
A quick English lesson here. Am is the present singular first person (I) form of the verb be, which means to exist or live. In Exodus, God is saying that He Is. God is, God exists. No matter what, He exists. And in some versions, it references the scriptures where God or Jesus say that I am one who was, is, and is to come. God exists in the past, present, and future. He is.
I found this revelation oddly comforting. Because if God just is, nothing can change that. No matter how bad the world gets, no matter the wrongs that are done to me, no matter who I lose, no matter the things I have or will do, God is. He won’t change. He will exist and keep existing as His perfect holy loving self, God will exist. And because He exists, all He asks of me is to exist in Him. As I am.
When a masterpiece is next to a copy, even an amazing copy, it’s still a copy. There will be differences. Some will stick out like a sore thumb (where does that saying come from anyway?) and some not so noticeable unless they were side by side. Some people might not even be able to tell the difference, but its still there. There are differences.
God, the perfect indescribable masterpiece and creator, made us in His image, but there is a major difference, we sin. We chose sin. Instead of trying to be like the masterpiece, we give up and chose sin because it’s easier. It’s easier to tear paper than create and work on an art piece. So why try to copy something that we will never reach, right?
Well, you see, God is love. And because He is, God is always and forever will be, love. He loves us enough to want us to be better. He loves us enough to want us to be masterpieces. To work on us every day. To stand with us through it all. To give us a perfect example and sacrifice, just so we can be masterpieces. He understands that it is hard for us to be masterpieces. So, He is. He exists to help us, love us, guide us, teach us, save us. He exists to be and do whatever it takes so that we can become the masterpieces He intended us to be.
That doesn’t mean that there isn’t work. All relationships require work, communication, and honesty. God is and never changes. So, His want for want us to be masterpieces will never change. His want to exist with us will never change.
But if we choose to look away from Him, choose to look to other copies or the framework around us, we’re the ones who lost sight. God still is. God is there. He is still existing to help, save, teach, correct us. He is. We are the ones that decided that something was better than the masterpiece. We decide that our differences, the ones we love, the things we love, the things we fight for, the things we worry about, anything in this world, is better than the masterpiece. We forget who we are addressing.
God is. That never changes. And He wants us to be a masterpiece, always will. But do we love God more than the differences we see in the other copies (or ourselves)? Do we love God more than our anger at the copies around us? Do we love God as is?
Do we choose to see and follow God as He is?
Jesus continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You belong to this world; I do not. That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I AM who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.”John 8:23-24
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