I sit and ponder life metaphors and God’s metaphors and am humbled and awed yet again.
We think we stumble, as if accidental, upon these great ways of describing ourselves, these things in nature that mirror our humanity…
Look at the mama bear, how she loves on her young and protects, so passionate is she! Just as we mums keep our babes close and protect them with all we have inside us, so does the bear.
As a thinker and a dreamer I think in metaphors and analogies, almost incessantly. I am acutely aware of them happening around me, to me.
I will feel overwhelmed and immediately think of ocean waves crashing towards me, returning to pull me under, without relief, without stopping. I feel better having thought of the analogy, I feel God knows me more, and I Him — having placed my finger on a way to describe my sense of panic. The panic lessens. And in my better moments I then lean into Him and remember He holds oceans in His hand, and yes, I will be ok.
But recently I had this epiphany…that analogies of life are not an “after the fact” collection of beauty and understanding.
That is, they were created to be an analogy in the first place. Perhaps even, it is their true purpose. To show us God in these things, for us to feel Him near.
I struggle to put into words what I’m trying to describe (maybe I need an analogy?) but think on this for a moment:
Was hunger, the sensation, the physical feeling, the longing and angst and pressure to seek out a morsel of sustenance…was it designed in and of itself so we would have analogy for how we are to be ravenous for Jesus? This primal sensation not simply a way we describe our longing, but is, in fact, there so we even know to long?
Was the process of sowing a seed, into the pitch of under ground, where it grows until bursting forth with life, where the fruit is then harvested…was it created specifically so we could have step by step loving and understanding of the process of our own seed growing in our own pitch, the womb where growth happens, until our own soft and cooing and crying fruit bursts forth?
Imagine for a moment that knowing humanity, the struggles we’d have, the life we’d live — God created and left for us here on earth the miracle of the seed growing in soil, the sensation of hunger, the instinct of the mama bear for us to relate. To still feel His presence. To hear Him speaking!
Before we were even created, He knew us. He knew our soul-needs. The first grizzly bear was here long before artists and writers used its habits to give floaty language to their feelings. The seed, older still, existed and grew and quietly planted roots long before I was here cultivating my own soil, praying for rain, hoping for fruit. Yet these things were created for me, for you. For all of us.
I pray that you can read these words and not simply think “of course! nothing is accidental!“, but truly be impacted by the width and breath and power of God’s love for you.