God is Not the Boogieman

Is the God of love really out to get you?
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God is Not the Boogieman

There it is again. That eerie dark shadow lurking in the closet. He seems so unpredictable. What might he do next? What might happen? Will he jump out and get me? MOM!

Those were some of my fearful thoughts as a child. I would lay snuggled in my bed, sure the boogieman was going to jump out of the closet and get me at any moment.

When I became a Christian, I realized that much of the way I related to God was like that of my childlike fear of the boogieman. Instead of realizing I was in the hands of a good and loving Father, I viewed God as tyrannical. He had all the control, I thought, but the only love he showed me was on the cross (which of course would have been enough!). I really did think God was like the boogieman hanging out in my closet, waiting to punish me or cause some harm.

How sad.

If you only know God as the sovereign ruler of the world, you might make the same mistake I did. It wasn’t until I understood the great love of God that I began to see His ways as good and loving. Even those tough things in our lives are part of God’s loving hand (1 Pet 1:3-9; Heb. 12: 3-17). We can rest knowing that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and his ways are not our ways, and yet he is still thoughtful of man (Isa. 55:8; Psalm 8:4). As Isaiah 55 reminds us, God delights in meeting our needs (spiritual and otherwise); he is always calling us to come and dine with him—to eat and drink and buy food without cost. And we have a Father who invites us not only to the table but also to the throne, the throne of grace where we receive help in our time of need (Heb. 4:16).

Though I didn’t fully grasp the significance of the cross as a young Christian, I now understand that God displayed his ultimate love for us through the sacrifice of His son on our behalf. Is there a greater love than this?

God is not the boogieman. He is the sovereign, loving, awesome God who came to redeem a people to himself. He is good and loves us relentlessly.

Trillia Newbell
Trillia Newbell
TRILLIA NEWBELL is the author of United: Captured by God’s Vision for Diversity (Moody Publishers, 2014) and Fear and Faith (Moody, 2015). Her writings on issues of faith, family, and diversity have been published in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, Desiring God, Christianity Today, Relevant Magazine, The Gospel Coalition, and more. She currently is the consultant on Women’s Initiatives for the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission for the Southern Baptist Convention. Along with writing, she is pursuing her M.A. in biblical counseling from Southern Theological Seminary. Trillia is married to her best friend, Thern, they reside with their two children near Nashville, TN.

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