For most of us, God is the supreme being of absolute perfection, all-powerful, all-present and all-knowing.
Being perfect, God must be unchanging, for only imperfection would require him to change, to become perfect.
Perfect in all ways and all things, God makes no mistakes, has no regrets and is without any flaw.
An Unchanging God gives our lives certainty. What God promises or pronounces, God will do. We can trust God to be faithful, to keep His word to us, to not change his mind and renege. As such, we have no reason to doubt God’s faithfulness and love; God is faithful and God is love.
As a child and through my teenage years, when my prayers were answered or when things happened in my favour, I considered myself to be in the perfect will of God. Any wrongs and imperfections were always due to my failings and rested with me.
My relationship with God was expressed as an imperfect me, walking along a straight and narrow path with a Perfect God. It made perfect sense.
Why should I ever think otherwise?
All this started to change after my time in Aberdeen, Scotland (1982-83), and, in particular, my accident on 14 August 1983.
Since being ‘filled’ with Holy Spirit at the ACS clock tower in 1972, my life was a roller coaster ride of exciting and wonderful moments, communicating with God and encountering Him in so many ways. At all times, I related to God expecting that he would never change. His perfection was enough for me.
After my accident, however, I just could not feel His presence. It was as if all life and strength had been sucked out of my body, soul and spirit. It was ground zero in my relationship with God. My ideas, understanding and beliefs about God gave way underneath me like my legs did as my spine snapped when the tree branch hit me.
For two years, I felt that I was floating in this emptiness and silence, trying to find some substance and point of reference that I could relate and hold on to. But in all those moments, all I could do was focus all my energy and meditate on who Jesus is, especially the relevance and value of God becoming human for me.
I now see that the two years of emptiness and silence were actually years of emptying in silence. God in Christ was emptying me of ideas and beliefs in and of Him that were of my own making. Father was working His work in me, to believe into Him whom He has sent as the only Way to know Him. Holy Spirit was tilling, preparing and changing the ground of my life to relate to him in a new fashion.
Coming out of the two years, I realized that the God in whom I believed wasn’t an unchanging constant. He was more than that.
His perfection was enough for me. But he is more than that.
God changed, even as the Word, who was God, became flesh. Before the Word became flesh, God was just God. After the Word became flesh, God was still God and was also a human being in Christ Jesus.
A change had occurred in the Nature and being of God. Becoming human was a new experience for God.
This was new to me. What did it mean?
By placing my all in the unshakeable belief that God did not change, I had inevitably given up my relationship with God for a relationship to an idea. By valuing the certainty that came with an unchanging God, I had lost sight of God and gained comfort in a mere image of what I desired Him to be. By holding fast to His perfection, I had not even given Him the dignity of relating to me exactly as He was.
Now, understanding that God can change is more amazing and magnificent than any perfection I can imagine, I have found freedom in a new relationship with a real God, a unique individual. My prayers to God are not instructions to a vending machine, which dispenses what I desire if I paid the right price.
There is no complete certainty in God, but He never was a robot to begin with.
Let Him surprise you today.