Friday, April 18, 2008

How does He really feel?

My friend, my heart breaks with you as you feel so under attack, as if there isn’t much else that could go wrong. So, as much as you may want to think that today is the absolute worst it could get…. with any luck, in a few weeks you’ll be able to laugh about it. I hate those days when they happen, but you will go on.

I think that the idea of God allowing bad things to happen to change and grow us, might be slightly flawed. And my opinion on this has changed recently, after reading “The Shack” by William P Young (I have a few copies if you want to borrow). God ultimately loves us and unconditionally. He desires the best and the most for us… that doesn’t always fit in our definition of the best and most, but God only gives us good. Free will is a tricky thing, intended as a gift given in the most love, but ultimately leads to sins. And when one of us sins, there are consequences, and the consequences don’t only affect those who sinned. It isn’t just or fair, and it doesn’t discriminate. Consequences affect us if we stumble across their path, regardless of whether or not we intended to. Another wonderful reason for us to desire for others to know and live in Christ… less painful consequences of sin the more people living in Him… but in this life, in our world, we will be affected by sin, even if we aren’t the ones who sinned. AND sometimes, that consequence – that we did nothing to deserve or ask for, does cause us to sin.

God will use these experiences for good. He will grow us and change us through these experiences, but to say that he would stand back and allow us to hurt is very contrary to God’s nature. My faith has grown as I have considered what would keep my heart turned towards my comforter during painful times. I think his heart is grieved at how much “bad” stuff happens, but he wants us to turn to him for our solace. As we reconcile ourselves to him more, the consequences, of our own sin and of other’s sins, are less painful.

And as for the bad day… it was a whopper! I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t crack under that strain! We (and I mean we… like me too!) do have to be careful putting such high expectations on ourselves, as well as our children and husbands and, you are right! We have to be careful of putting those expectations on our friends too. I think I’ve done that as a way to get down on myself, by comparing. I find myself thinking about what other moms wouldn’t do or would do that I don’t do. I see a certain name on the caller ID and I mute the TV – I’d hate for someone to know just how much it is on at my house, or that I sometimes use it because I don’t want to deal with the kids. I love that you want to be more transparent… we all need to be. Let’s stop keeping up appearances for the sake of anyone. Yes, let’s strive for excellence in our lives, but for the Glory of God, not for our pride. And if we fall short, God is full of grace and love. And something else I’ve realized is that God does not expect anything from us. His love is truly unconditional…. He hopes and desires good things for us, but with out expectations.

A few weeks ago, I blew up at my children in front of a friend who stopped by and stayed longer than I expected… things weren’t as I would want anyone else to see them. I need to stop focusing on the stuff and move my hearts focus on relationships –with Christ first and with my family and with others. And I need to stop putting expectations on anyone else… Oh God – do that in me. Let me love others in Your unconditional way!

So dear friend… for today – take it one step at a time. Take what you have to deal with first and do that… and if the other stuff doesn’t happen, be ok with that. Maybe there are two baskets of unfolded laundry from yesterday that wait one more day or you eat boxed mac and cheese for dinner, or cheese and crackers… OK! I hope your bruise heals soon. I don’t think God wants you to dwell on the sin, he hasn’t!

I sure hope that I don’t sound arrogant or full of myself… this is just my opinion and shared in hopes of encouragement and for my own reflection.

1 comment:

  1. I am so thankful that "He works all things for the good of those who love Him"! I still think of Job though, with whom God definitely "stood back" and allowed the devil to test him, first with all his possessions, then against even his own health. Obviously the story has a happy ending and he gains back more than he ever dreamed of having! So, yes I agree with you that our Father is a good Father who gives us good (especially when we ask!), but to say that the "bad" things and consequences reach us because of our free will, is to almost say that we are ultimately in control of the world's events, good and bad, and not God. Whoa, that's getting too deep for me at this hour! I'm definitely not trying to argue, just trying to sort out my thoughts. And thank you, by the way, for sympathizing with me.


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