Working with alcoholics and addicts in recovery, I run into many people who are hardened to the idea of a loving God. Most of these folks are broken, some have never even seen the inside of a church, some have only memories from childhood of a strict God of vengeance. In any case, these poor folks can be quite vocal in their disbelief, and state they're doubt because of their condition. "How could God let this happen, if He cared my family wouldn't have left me!" They don't seem to realize their part in their troubles. But as they continue to work toward a sober life, they soften, and start looking to a "higher power" for help. Unfortunately, some never get beyond that small view of God, and don't attempt to know Him in a deeper way. Some do, and find a life of spirituality and learn to pray in faith, and stretch themselves out to others needing help.
My whole experience in recovery was somewhat different. I came in with a belief in God. I also had an understanding of a God who was vengeful, but also my view was that God was some sort of celestial Santa Claus that would give me anything I needed, if my faith was strong enough. I had to lose every thought of how I thought of Him to enter into a relationship with Him. Everything has changed for me spiritually speaking. He is a God of wrath, He is also giving. But that small understanding was just a couple of the many attributes of the God of the Bible. He is grace, mercy, truth, love, kindness, and on and on without end, words can't describe Him. God doesn't exist in time, He is eternal. God doesn't just live in heaven, He is present. God is not getting ready to give you your breakthrough, He doesn't procrastinate. He is triune, Father, Son, Holy Spirit, three in One. Three individual persons in one, like He made me and you, body, soul, and spirit. We are made in His image, (Imago Dei). I know I'm getting confusing to some, insane to others, but in His sight, coming closer to Him.
The Hebrews had many names for God that descibed His many characteristics. Jevovah, (self existent, eternal), is the name we're most familiar with. They, in order to describe a characteristic, may call Him Jehovah Shalom, "the Lord our peace, or, Jehovah Jireh, the Lord provides, Jehovah Rophay, the Lord heals, and many more beautiful names. My favorite is El Shaddai...the Lord is, here you can fill in the blank. He's always whatever the situation calls for. We can go beyond the shallow, "higher power," and move Him to His place of status, enthroned in glory, power, and majesty. He calls us friends? He does, because is our dearest friend. In Christ He is close than any brother. Thanks for reading, El Shaddai bless and keep you all,Keith.