February 26, 2012
Someone at church today compared God to a fisherman. Not in the sense that Jesus talked about when he invited his disciples to be “fishers of men”. He talked about God being like a person on a boat out in the ocean, enjoying the beautiful day, with his line in the water. God could have stayed on the boat, catching only the people that bit on his line. Instead God decided to dive in the water, and swim with the fish. Being under the water and swimming where the fish swim, living like a fish, struggling with predators and water pollution and no air…that is the situation God put himself in when coming to earth to live with humanity in the form of Jesus Christ.
I have always thought of Jesus from such a human perspective. Yeah, he came to earth – what’s so special about that? Earth is where it’s at. Or at least it is where I am at, the only place I have experienced. For me it is home, it is normal – well, as normal as existence can be. But for Jesus it was as different from life in and with God as it would be for the fisherman to decide to live a lifetime under water. Really, the change and sacrifice required is more than I can comprehend or imagine.
Before I always thought of God coming to a habitat that God had created. If God made it, surely it is good enough and can’t be that foreign. However, I have created fish tank habitats, and that does not prepare me to live in a fish tank. I can fix the filter, test the chemicals, clean the algae, but none of those things prepare me for living in a fish tank.
Was living on earth weird for God? What did God think the first time his diaper wasn’t changed immediately, or when he fell and scraped his knee, or when his parents wouldn’t let him do what he wanted? What about when people didn’t understand or when he felt nails being hammered through his hands? If you had lived for eternity as God, would you be taken aback by the reality of human existence? Do you think we have more frailty than God had expected? More suffering? More joy?
One thing is for sure. God gets it now. God knows what it means to feel the sore throat lauding the arrival of a new cold. God knows what it means to watch a dear friend die. God knows what it is to struggle with our greatest temptation. God gets it. That is why we are offered compassion and love.