Not really.   I don’t actually have the faintest idea of how God feels– if God feels at all.   We tend to think of feelings as things that come and go.  We are sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes anxious, sometimes peaceful.  We are depressed or joyful, sick or well.  On the other hand, God is constant, unchanging.  Nothing we do surprises him because he knew the end from the beginning.  He is not one day glad, one day sad.  Or so I understand.   We may feel love but God IS love.  I have trouble understanding how Love can be a person and not just a feeling.

So why did I title this post “I know how God feels?”  Because I am a parent.  I have brought children into this world and tried to do right by them.  I loved them with such love as I am capable of and gave them what I thought they needed as best I could.  Maybe parenthood gives me a glimpse into God’s thinking.   God wanted to spread his overflowing love around and decided to create people  who  could enjoy happiness with him forever in a loving relationship.  Male and female he created them and placed them in a paradise with all they could possibly need, a beautiful world with sunrises and sunsets,  flowers and trees, animals galore, all under man’s dominion.   But because love that is not voluntary is not love at all he also gave them free will.   He did not want to make robots that had no choice but to execute a program.   The people he made could choose to trust in the goodness of God and go along with his plan or reject his loving plan and do their own thing.  But some of them were prideful and wanted to be like God which makes about as much sense as a watch telling the watchmaker “I will not keep time.”  Such a watch would be good for nothing but the junkyard.

My kids are so like God’s kids!  All I want of them is that they love each other and behave themselves.  And love me, of course, who have been good to them and sacrificed for them, and without whom they would not exist.  I rejoice when they do well and it breaks my heart when they squabble.  Maybe I do understand, just a little bit how God feels — IF he feels!   How must God feel when he sees his children at war, hurting each other, grabbng and accumulating while others do without, wasting resources, seeking power for themselves without regard to the suffering of others?   Like many others I am again attributing to God the feelings of men.

God is so “other,” so un-understandable, that we run a risk when we anthropomorphize. On the other hand,  If we are made in the image of God, we must somehow reflect him.  We may never know what, or if, God feels. We do know, however, what God wants. because he said he wants us to love each other.  If it grieves us when our children don’t obey or don’t get along, it makes sense to think that God is likewise grieved.

He has told us what he wants through his prophets, his Ten Commandments, and he sent his Son, Jesus, (Emmanuel, which means “God with us”) to teach us. We can choose to do His will, follow Jesus, and love each other, and live happily ever after, or we can say “I will not serve” and consign ourselves to misery.


Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.” –John Greenleaf Whittier