Sunday, December 14, 2014

When It's Hard to See God as He Is

Being a parent does incredible things for your understanding of God.

Doctrinally, I would say that God is a loving Father, Jesus an ever-present Shepherd, and the Holy Spirit a Comforter and Guide, but those truths aren't always the ones I play on the projector of my white-sheet mind.  Sometimes, the projector rolls, and God flashes across as stern and disappointed, Jesus shows up as distant and disapproving, and the Holy Spirit wafts in as mystical and hazy.

Tonight, Anna was up past her bedtime.  We'd gone to look at Christmas lights, and when we returned, it was already seven, and we still had to feed her dinner and change into jammies.  She was tired and fragile.  She asked for her water, but I had to get it ready.  She ran away from me, ranting in her baby talk, straight across the dining room and into the bathroom, where she could go no further.  I scooped her up, ready to speak comfort and love to her, and she threw her head back as hard as she could, hitting herself against the cabinet.

How often am I Anna?  So frustrated at God for the things I cannot see.  I ask for water, and it doesn't come instantly.  I can't see what His hands are doing, and so I run.  I throw angry words into the air and go as far as I can, and all the time, He is following.  His heart toward me is tender.  He longs for me to understand Him, and He's ready to teach me who He is.  He's not withholding the water because I have failed or because He is mean.

Whatever it is that you are waiting for, my friend, take heart.  God tucks into His side with the loving grasp of a Father, and He is not holding out on you.  Rather, He is the only one of the two of you that completely understands the situation at hand and perfectly knows how to bring His goodness and mercy to pass.

He is our good Father.  Listen to Audrey remind you - it will bless you, I promise.

I put all my hope in the truth of Your promise
And I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness
When I'm bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your name
And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me

I lift up my eyes to the hills where my help is found
Your voice fills the night - raise my head up to hear the sound
Though fires burn all around me I will praise You, my God
And the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

Because You are good to me, good to me

Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
All my life
I will trust in Your promise

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