I’m not sure exactly where this post came from. Could be from my reading in Augustine’s Confessions. Maybe it’s because I was with a friend who had his bag stolen at the beach. Or maybe, it’s just where I am in life with all its twists and turns. Whatever the impetus, it led me to a very honest conversation with God the other morning. I don’t have a ton of them, because I feel I need to be composed and proper around Him. I know that to be fodder, but habits die hard. Here’s an excerpt from that conversation. These are my unfiltered thoughts. This is how I believe a true relationship with God should be and I feel I have much to glean from my own musings in this time. A relationship with God isn’t pretty, tidy or certain. It’s filled with doubt, questions and everything we have come to associate with earthly relationships. My only prayer is that it stirs up some questions in your heart about your relationship with or understanding of God.

God, I don’t trust your goodness. Though You say You’re good, loving and have my ultimate benefit in mind, I seem to want to believe the exact opposite. This belief obviously conflicts with Your word, what I know to be true. I suppose it’s one of the many lies I believe about You, Father. I don’t want to believe these lies, however; I want truth.

“I gave You brokenness, You gave me innocence and love,” — Audrey Assad

I read into these lyrics defeat. God, I have nothing to offer You. I have nothing that hasn’t been tainted or that would be suitable to a king, let alone the King of kings. God, what could You want from this bastard son who constantly disobeys and is evil to the core? What possible purpose could be served through keeping me around? I am a mere man and a wicked one at that. God, I do not understand in the least.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” — Ephesians 2:8–10

What keeps You stooping down to a backwards species, loving, taking care of and using us in a divine master plan? Surely, there is less frustrating.

God, I cannot begin to fathom Your grace. How can it be? What is this grace extended even to a wretch like myself?

What don’t You just give up? We will always be crooked. Move on to something that has a capacity and a will to understand and know You more. You have been dealing with a planet of incapable infants for millennia where You’ve had to provide and do everything for a people who are wholly incompetent. Don’t You grow weary? Don’t You need a vacation? Wouldn’t You like a break from the frustration and the tedium of managing this hell-bound planet?

God, who are You?

You are obviously not a man, nor are You mortal. You must be remarkably patient. I could not bear my own insolence, let alone a planet full of it. You must possess a love unparalleled. Otherwise, how could I have the life I have on an earth that is not a purgatorial wasteland? My entire existence would merely be hell on earth as that is what I am certain I deserve. You must also possess an otherworldly wisdom as I cannot begin to understand what is going on in my own microcosm. There is no hope of me understanding the world or universe as a whole. You must be sovereign, because how else could you be in complete control of an ever-expanding universe? In addition, You must also be more precious than metals and stones. Why else would my heart and millions of other hearts cry out for You and nothing else? If my depths want You above all, then You must possess some great worth. You must be extremely personable and love community if You have conversations with individuals and groups alike throughout the globe all day and every day. Therefore, You must also be tireless, supremely caring to listen as well as the best listener ever.

You seem good and mighty and holy, but what do the sadness, grief and calamity in my life and the world say about who You are? How do death and pain fit into the beautiful picture of You my heart paints? I have listed several aspects here of goodness, beauty and perfection, but these last few seem conflicting. God, in a world pockmarked with conflict and tension, I ask You once more to reveal Yourself. Who are You?