Romeo and Juliet is perhaps the most famous relationship of all time (with the exception of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry or course). To spare you the long and tragic story allow me to use my vast experience of attending Renaissance Fairs (or Faires if you are a real stickler) to summarize. Romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love pretty much overnight. However, their families are mortal enemies, so there is no way they can publicly be together. The solution – fail to communicate a fake suicide which is followed by a real suicide which is followed by another real suicide, marking the end of their lives. Riveting stuff.
I think that the main reason this story became so popular was that people could relate to the love that sprang up between the lovers. Not much has changed in the 500ish years since Shakespeare wrote that play. We have numerous songs, movies, and experiences that loudly trumpet that having a deep, loving, trusting, beautiful relationship (romantic or otherwise) is the greatest thing we can experience on earth. Whether that relationship is friend to friend, loved to beloved, teacher to student, or parent to child, our culture and experiences scream at us to make relationships a top priority (usually right after we prioritize ourselves). But why? And what about God? I mean, isn’t he the only one we really need? If that’s true why do all these other people around me matter so much?
The scandalous answer is that God isn’t everything we need to live. Gasp! (Oh my, I must have consumed way to much coffee to say something like that!) Now before you organize a mob and burn me at the stake, let me expand upon that response a bit. The first thing we must understand is that God is the source of all things. So, to say that you don’t need God’s provision to live is a bit of a stretch, and if God blinked out of existence, we would too. However, God made systems inside of us that we need to feed in order to survive. Think about food.
God doesn’t offer us one of his fingers whenever we get hungry. And yet he created us to be hungry and we need to respond to that need or WE WILL DIE. In a similar way God created in us a need for relationships that he wasn’t meant to fill, but he did create someone to fill it.
Look with me at Genesis 2:18. “Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for man to be alone; I will make a helper fit for him.” Notice the setting. God has created man, Adam, and is in perfect relationship with him (Eve wasn’t around yet so we know that this was before the two of them ate the fruit and had bad things happen). If God was all Adam needed, there was no need to make a helper for him. Yet, God himself says something audacious. He says that Adam needs another human, that Adam needs another human to make God’s world good. The relationship between God and one man wasn’t enough. (double gasp!) Adam needed someone besides God to fill something God made inside of him.
Thus, to answer the question: is God all I need, I would respond with two statements. 1) Yes, God is the ultimate provider and creator of everything you need. 2) Yet, God makes us need stuff that he doesn’t directly provide in himself. We need air, food, water, a temperate climate, the right air pressure, and human companionship. God isn’t the complete direct source of those things, though he creates them. He isn’t air, food, water, etc. He is God. And while we are meant to be in relationship with him, we aren’t created to stop there. We need other people. Yet, if we aren’t in relationship with God, we are missing out on the one relationship that we really need.
With all of our posts we are encouraging dialogue. If you have a further question or feel the need to comment, please do.