Perfect pancakes start to curl around the edges right before they’re supposed to be flipped. There aren’t many things in life that I would say I can do perfectly, but making beautiful, golden, moist, fluffy, perfect pancakes is one of them. One of the most important steps of making pancakes is finding the ideal consistency for the batter. An overly watery batter leads to runny, flat, dull pancakes, while an under watered, dry batter leads to small, dehydrated, crunchy pancakes. When it comes to pancakes, consistency is key. And such is true with life.
God’s character is consistent, but its manifestation is inconsistent. Talk about something that bothered the heck out of me when I first heard it. I’m not sure why it bothered me, maybe it had something to do with the fact that I just felt uneasy about saying inconsistent and God is the same breath. However, as I wrestled with that, and continue to do so, I have found the truth behind that statement over and over again. As I’ve retraced my story with God, He has never once been inconsistent in the love He’s shown me, but it has rarely looked, or felt, the same throughout time.
That’s very true of God throughout the history of His people, though. Beginning in Genesis, He took on a very different form to encounter His people than He did as history unfolded. In the beginning of Genesis, He came in the cool of the day - meaning He could have truly come during a specific time of the day in some form of mankind, or potentially He simply manifested Himself in the form of a cool breeze during the afternoon. Later in the OT, during the time of the Exodus God made himself into the likeness of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Then there came the time of Jesus in the NT, followed by the arrival of the Holy Spirit in the time after Jesus’ ascension. Over and over His manifestation changed.
However, while His manifestation may have changed, His heart never did, and never will (Heb 13:8). And as I’ve moved throughout the time of pursuing an intimacy with God, knowing and being known by Him, I’ve experienced that as well. I’ve seen God provide father figures throughout my life in the absence of my own father. I’ve seen God provide financially in the midst of a very complicated family situation. And more than anything, I’ve seen God provide purpose while I’ve faltered and failed, triumphed and succeeded, and everything in between. While it took the form of giving me a family to worship and pursue simply knowing what it means to be grateful for such a relational God at times, and it took the form of simply having a desire to choose Him day in and day out regardless of my emotional or mental state, God has yet to fail showing me that He will always be faithful to His promises - of life, and love, and purpose for all of His children.
I would never claim to know anything near the fullness of who God is, but I can confidently claim that God will always be consistent. His character, His heart, His love for His people has been evident since the beginning of mankind, and it will remain until the end. While it may take many different forms or shapes as we move through life, we can always remain confident that God will always, always, always be faithful to love His children. God’s character is consistent, but its manifestation is inconsistent - and I love that… because His love for us and His knowledge of us means that He will always reveal Himself in the manner most benefiting and true to what we need.
- Logan Johnson