" I have seen God, and have heard from him, and cannot make the connection between him that I love and the god pictured here in the Bible. They seem like opposing forces and it doesn't make any sense to me."
The Bible is a record of the actions of God and men. Remember, the earth was without form and void, darkness covered the face of the deep, so God said, "Let there be light". Chaos, darkness, sin and death- these things are the product of the mystery of free will. God made man master of the earth before he fell, and He did not revoke that mastery after man fell. Therefore, as we (mankind as a whole) learn that all wills must eventually yield to love, and that forgiveness is the highest form of love- love will eventually overwhelm all hatred and meanness of men and all creatures. As the light shines into the darkness and the dawn begins to rise, we see that God has been progressively leading us from the death and chaos of self centered life into the love and beauty of a life poured out.
Jesus, on the cross, a life poured out..... A fountain flowing from his wounds, becoming a river that will fill EVERY BEING IN TIME AND SPACE with the outpoured life- all becoming a universal OCEAN of joy and love. Light is fire to darkness. Our God is a consuming fire. The fire is consuming the chaos and redeeming the whole creation into the love of God. (Romans 8:18-23; Acts 3:19; Ephesians 1:9-11; Colossians 1:16-21; 1Corinthians 15:22-28; Romans 11:32-36; Revelation 5:13; Revelation 21:5).
It was only by the gift of a life, laid own for me, (let there be light) that I could learn that the beauty of giving is worth the letting go of my life(without form and void)- entrusting it, enfolding it, into His- receiving it back again (resurrected in his image, day by day)multiplied many times- in love- not in things or fame or power or glory.
"Behold I am making ALL THINGS NEW" is ......
THE FOUNDATIONAL STATEMENT OF THE WHOLE BIBLE.
That's where you see God in Christ and what His plan always was, is and always will be.
He gave us a world and a life to do what we will with it...... we have been learning that the only thing worth doing is love. Love makes new- that is the plan and Christ is the SEED of it, LEAVEN THAT IS SPREADING THROUGH OUT ALL THINGS TILL ALL BE LEAVENED.
Lift up the lid a little, if you look at the world through purple glasses, you can't see the beauty of the colors all around- maybe there is a secret thread of beauty that is running through all of the futility you see in the Bible, like a treasure hidden in a field. You can't see its value until you understand where it is coming from(a Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, "LET THERE BE LIGHT"), and where it is going to- "BEHOLD(see, perceive, be illuminated within) I AM MAKING ALL THINGS NEW"!!!
This love unfolded is like a rose whose thorns are all one sees who has never beheld the bloom nor smelled the wonderful aroma as it opens in the spring.