GUEST BLOG: Lions and Tigers and Boldness

Soul-Filled Saturday

Boldness with God is a challenge. In our youth, we occasionally might have thought of God, just a tad, as the face of the “great and powerful Oz,” flashing with rage and condemnation as we approach the throne. That hallway to the throne of Oz seemed pretty long to Lion and he bailed. We sometimes feel the length of that perceived hallway to God’s throne and do the same. I believe this is because we are familiar with our smallness and the words in scripture which remind us of it. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? God to Job. Chapter 38 verse 4. Read on if you dare.

Another problem is, when we think on God’s might and power and authority, we often mix in our past experiences of what that means: Our parents on a bad day, for example, letting their crazy shine before all humankind while they command our cooperation. I have wielded my crazy before my offspring and I often think, later, tail between my legs, that I better make sure my kids aren’t transferring that mess to God. God is perfectly wild, perfectly authoritative, and commanding without shame. God calls it like it is, and sometimes that makes us tremble.

But, and this is big, we don’t have to be afraid to be ourselves in front of that kind of creation power. The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 103:8 ESV). Have your closest companions said that about you when your intensity is on full display? Who but God commands such strength and yet is our one dream-come-true for comfort and acceptance

The awe we hope to muster is the same kind, on a smaller scale, that one would have for giant waves in Hawaii. If you are just purely afraid of surfing them like most normal people, you won’t get to shred them up and appreciate their tubularness. (Cringe, real surfing buddies at my shameful lack of coolness. I am the mom of a teenager and it is an artform I enjoy).
Think about those waves. Don’t you, just a little bit, envy the surfer? If she gains the skill and courage to try, she can be right in the center of their crystalline power. It takes some outright child-like trust to go there. Otherwise no one would do it. No one would get on the surfboard, and no one would go down the hallway, and no one would pray. And n
o one would know how real the love is, how easy the burden is, and how light.Boldness is welcomed by the God of Creation. He prefers it to milquetoast. That means yelling at him can’t hurt him. That means grief is allowed for as long as it takes. That means confession. That means ugliness and fear and cowardice are handed over to him. Let him take it from you. The hallway is short. The compassion is great. The waves are safe.

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