I often read commentaries, or hear pastors talk about how God is “spirit” which is indeed true. But it is rare to hear pastors and theologians refer to the physical aspect of God…His body. Now we could dive into theology here and discuss that whenever there is a reference to God’s body, they are referring to Christ. It could be; we won’t know until we get to heaven. But here’s my point: most people have a hard time relating to God in spirit, and I believe that’s why in Isaiah, where God speaks throughout the book, He refers to Himself in a very physical way, in the way of a lover who dotes on His beloved.
Let me illustrate:
In His love and in His mercy He redeemed them;
And He lifted them and carried them all the days of old. (Isaiah 63:9)
There’s just something about a God who tenderly lifts and carries His children that ignites a thrill in my heart. He is the consummate hero. And consider this:
I have spread out My hands all day long to a rebellious people,
Who walk in the way which is not good, following their own thoughts,
A people who continually provoke Me to my Face (Isaiah 65:2-3a)
As I read this verse, I paused and pictured God with His hands spread out. It brought to mind that famous painting of Christ standing with his hands spread out, palms forward, the nail piercings clearly visible. That kind of stance is open and vulnerable. The body language says, “I want you. Why won’t you come to me?”
For from of old they have not heard nor perceived by ear,
Neither has the eye seen a God besides Thee,
Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.
Thou dost meet him who rejoices in doing righteousness,
Who remembers Thee in thy ways. (Isaiah 64:4-5a)
God comes to meet us. He knows we can’t find Him or even get to Him physically. All we can do is remember Him and involve Him in everything we do, and then wait for Him. And He comes to meet us, without fail. He comes all the way to us, knowing we are physically limited in our earthly body.
For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand,
Who says to you, “Do not fear, I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
I’ve mentioned it before…how much I love the fact that our God is a hand-holding God. He knows how much we need it. I remember years ago when I was in the process of a miscarriage, and I had to go in for a procedure to clean out my uterus. After the doctor assured me in no uncertain terms that the baby was dead, I agreed to have the procedure done. And as I went into the room for the procedure, I looked at the nurse and said, “Will you hold my hand?” She gladly took my hand and it made all the difference. It calmed my fears.
As a woman, I am thrilled to know that there is a physical side to God. That He is there not just in spirit, but in body. There is a romance about it…a sacred romance. And because He is the most amazing lover of all, He anticipates our every need and comes to us, welcomes us, draws us into His arms.
And one day in heaven, we can lay our heads against the broad chest of the Hero who was loving us and fighting for us all along.