Those three letters form a word that strikes either love, hate, or fear into the hearts of man.
Is he a distant being, divinely unsatisfied with the sinful plight of his creation? Does he wage war on us? Drive us into corners with disease, afflictions, and famine? All to know that he alone is God and we are nothing? Or does he love us dearly, like beloved children? If he loves us, how could he let such terrible things happen? We start to paint a picture of a tall and angry God, hot in his wrath, pouring out the bowls of fire upon the poor and the innocent, all because we broke a few of his oh-so precious rules.
“Don’t you care, God?”
“I thought you loved me!”
“Why would you let this happen to me?”
We weep and we mourn, we gnash our teeth and curse the Almighty’s name, all for the sake of our affliction. We cry out from the mess of this earth, and we forget one important thing.
We made this mess.
We bit of the apple.
We spit upon the beautiful face of God.
And we forget another wondrous, sorrowful thing.
He feels more deeper than we could ever feel.
What do I mean by this? In all our humanistic philosophies, selfish ambitions of excellence, and conceited attempts at discovering love, we forget that our creator is not just a emotionless spirit floating around the expanse of the universe, doting out schedules for rain and hurricanes. He created us with emotion because he himself is filled with it. In all our crying out over our trials and struggles we drown out the voice of God.
And it is a voice filled with sorrow.
Imagine the joy of creating such a beautiful universe; and crowning it with a jewel of grassy fields, wide forests, majestic mountains, and roaring seas; and then forming two beings much like yourself, bearing your image, laughing like you do, and feeling like you do. Imagine being able to talk with them, walk with them, show them all the incredible gifts you have made just for them. But then, a twist.
A bend in the road tears down the heavy curtain behind the stage, and the beautiful dance is brought to a mess of confusion and chaos.
The dancers run off.
You are left alone with the emptiness of rejection, the hollow pain of unlove.
So it was with God.
Perhaps in our obsession with ourselves and what we feel, and how unfair life is to us we neglect to take the perspective of God.
To see what he saw.
To feel what he felt, and feels.
Was God tsk-tsking around while he watched Adam and Eve eat from the tree, or was he weeping in the far corners of the universe, knowing the pain and death that would come from that fateful decision, including the death of his own Son? Do we imagine God being frustrated and upset about the sinfulness of the earth so much that he decided to start all over with a clean slate because he’s a clean-freak, or do we see him crying out over the lostness of that generation, and his desire for them to come back to him?
Perhaps it was not rain but the tears of the Great I Am that flooded the earth those forty days and nights.
Oh how great must the valley of God be!
The valley that began since Satan spat on the face of God and left the glory of heaven to seek his own way. Then, one by one, we all followed suit. And slowly, the valley was carved deeper and deeper into the heart of God.
Every no to his goodness, and every time someone chooses anything other than God’s best, that valley is dug deeper.
If the mountain of God is tall, how deep must his valley be.
We have all dealt with rejection. We have all felt back-stabbed. We have all felt the heartache of someone you love do something that feels like hate.
And God feels it every. single. day.
“You don’t know how this feels, God!”
“Why would they do that to me?”
Oh how small are our valleys when held up to the horrible greatness of God’s: the one we carved ourselves.
I just looked up the amount of people who have ever lived, and the estimate of it cut me to the heart.
106 billion backstabs.
106 billion rejections.
106 billion acts of unfaithfulness.
Oh, how deep must the valley of God be!
Jesus was a man of many sorrow, acquainted well with grief.
No wonder, for he had the heart of his Father.
106 billion sorrows.
Jesus wept over Jerusalem.
How the Father must have wept over the world.
Our pain is but a tiny reflection of his.
Our heartache is but a small glimpse of his.
Our sorrow is but a little taste of his.
Our tears are but drops in the ocean filled with his.
Oh, if we but walked in the valley of God, we might never come out. How deep is its expanse, how wide and dark are its floors, trodden down heavy by the constant footsteps of the One who spoke the sun into existence and whispered the stars to their places.
We have no concept of grief.
We have no grasp on heartache.
Our valleys are small.
His is not.
And it was carved by us.