As I type these words, I can hear the thunder booming and the rain lashing against the windows of my bedroom. I’m thankful to be inside rather than out in the rain or trying to drive home in the storm. I can appreciate the majesty of the storm without having to be afraid of it.
That’s a good analogy for what it means to fear God. It doesn’t mean cowering in terror from God, but having a healthy and reverent awe and respect for the God who made everything. The God who isn’t simply a bigger and stronger and better version of me, but something that is Wholly Other. The God who owes me no explanations for what He says or does. The God who does not change but who is eternally true to His nature and to His promises.
There is a bit of inherent fear that comes with not being able to fully comprehend or understand all of who God is. It’s a bit unsettling to know that I could never wrap my brain around God, and even what little I know is because He has chosen to make Himself known to me. Otherwise, a lifetime of searching could never hope to unravel the mysteries of God.
S. D. Gordon once said that Jesus is God spelling Himself out in a language humanity could understand. Everything that is important and vital for us to know about God is revealed through Jesus. That’s why the incarnation is at the core of the Christian faith — without it, there is no hope of knowing God.
I used to be terrified of thunderstorms, especially of the loud noise of the thunder. Now, I understand them better and appreciate them more and am less afraid of them. The more I know of God, the more I can truly fear Him in a holy reverent awe and the less I am afraid of Him.