“Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish” (Joel 2:13b, NLT).
Besides a reluctance to believe God actually exists, I wonder if some are afraid of what they might discover if they do turn to God. Will they find a God seething with anger, ready to punish? Will they receive a long list of things to do and rules to obey? Will their lives become dreary, with no more fun and laughter, no more freedom? With so many misconceptions about him, and so many purporting to have a corner on the truth, it’s no wonder those unsure about God give up and go their own way.
In the same way we want to be known and loved for who we are on the inside, God wants to be known by us. He is a mystery and yet he has shown us a great deal about himself. Part of the reason Jesus came to earth as a human being was to reveal his Father; they are one and the same and there is no difference between the God we see in the Old Testament and Jesus in the New. God was and is merciful and compassionate and eager to shower his unfailing love on us. Turning to him and getting to know him isn’t a fearful thing, rather a coming home to the love, security and freedom we all desire.