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God and A Man
a personal journey

In some circles, God is called a gentleman, who would never disturb our free will, our pride, or our self-esteem. I will suggest, that all such, does not consider the Father in Heaven, and what He does to bring us to the point of the opening of a certain door.

I was born and raised a Jew, and one of my early memories was a children’s service on Saturday mornings, which my whole family attended while the children were young. It was put on by tall young men and women who were in their twenties, I remember being told. They were quite awesome to me, I hadn’t realized there were people like that. They delved into much of our history most interestingly. We were taught that God interacted directly, person to person, with people back then. I remember very clearly a deep glow inside, a desire to do that. I remember the shock of learning that no one else in that room, and no one else I knew, felt the same. I remember not being able to choose that glow, over everything and everyone else, and the beginning of a profound and terrible misery, that grew and grew for many years.

The misery had many forms. Some of them have new names in today’s psychological theory, some still don’t have any. To a large but not complete extent, it took over me. And then things got worse. As a child I had a very strong tendency to want to believe what teachers told me. I have heard it is a lot worse now in general; certainly in those years too, there was a whole lot of contradictory input. Eventually, in college, things got so bad inside myself that I found that I could not understand anything good in human reality. Human beings require an understanding of good in our reality, or we will do things that are not good, and that’s what I did.

The obvious question for right now is, where was God through all of the above? Was he standing there quietly outside me, knocking gently at the door? When He sees a person burning inside, as I did for years and years, is that all He does?

No. God is not a foolish gentleman, who merely stands at doors and knocks, while smelling inferno in the houses. Nothing that exists, exists without God willing it to exist, immediately as it exists. One reason that inferno exists because God has not washed it away. All things, whether pleasant and unpleasant, exist and remain right now, because God has decided so, and has not decided otherwise. He gives measures of freedom, in order that His will be done. He is no weakling who lacks any ability or knowledge. He has never promised nor given, full unrestricted freedom, to anyone except persons who are Himself.

So what was God doing, when I could not choose to trust Him?

First, God gave lots of input, to build the fire of that inferno. He built it up very big and hot, which made me the more miserable over time. He required me to sense the eternal worthlessness of almost everything human beings do. He did this in many different ways, using many different people against their own chosen purposes, often in answer to questions I asked. I built myself high and strong, a solid steel roof, brick walls, and Gorilla Glass windows, very strongly indeed. I wanted myself to become big and strong, so that’s how I built myself. But the more I built, the bigger the inferno got. I could not outbuild the inferno.

And then that fire, which He had fueled most carefully, grew enough to melt the roof, and crack the brick, and later, vaporize it all as the temperature rose. I was left with a ground floor, no walls, and one door. And then indeed, after the Father had made sure the house was sufficiently destroyed, and enough of that evil disrespected, He sent Someone He calls the Comforter, often called The Holy Spirit, who walked up to the other side of that door, and knocked, through the voice of a preacher who was gifted that day. I responded, and new life began.

Jonathan Brickman
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