God's Image Problem (And It's Not His Fault)
I have struggled at times finding the “right” view of God. Long I saw Him as a distant Father, ready to reprimand me when I messed up. Then I began to see Him more as a near and loving Father, ready to shower me with blessings and good things (there were possibly rainbows and unicorns involved . . . once or twice). But then, as it so often does, life happened:
-- My dad had meningitis. It took a late-night trip to Calgary and several stress-filled days for the doctors to sort it all out.
-- My mom had to have surgery to replace her aortic valve and have a bypass. It was a long recovery, even though so many better things had been prayed.
-- My husband had cancer and went through chemotherapy. That was followed by us having to prove to Revenue Canada that my husband indeed went through all that and that we had, years before that, gone through the proper channels for the critical illness insurance on our mortgage. Why the latter? Because someone had filed a complaint saying we were ‘bragging about having paid off our mortgage’.
Sometimes life sucks. And I confess, I wondered where this “good” God was. I struggled with the well-intentioned mantras of “God is good” and “God wants to bless you and heal you and do all sorts of wonderful things for you.”
“Rainbow and unicorn God” went away. “Big Stick God” was again on the horizon. Because surely, I had done something wrong or something not “right” enough that stilled the hand of God and shut the door on His provisions. Because it couldn’t be this good and wonderful God, could it? Wasn’t life to be easier and kinder and gentler for Christians?
But I realize now it wasn’t big sticks, rainbows, or unicorns that were obstructing my view of Him.
It was cotton candy.
I had somehow got it into my head, my heart, that my life as a Christian should be light, fluffy, easy, and fun. That it was ‘good plans’ and ‘hope’ and all that meant to me.
But with the rains that came, that was (thankfully) washed away. And I’m learning ‘good plans’ and ‘hope’ and ‘blessings’ are often to be found in unexpected places, in unusual ways.
-- There are blessings in pastors who will drive two hours to sit with your family in the ER in the wee hours of the morning.
-- There is hope to be seen in a woman who will not quit believing in God in spite of questions and hard times.
-- There are good plans to see unfold in a man who, even with the bad days, still more often than not finds something to be joyful about along with a way to make you laugh about it, too.
I really don’t know how to wrap this up. I don’t want to give any pat answers, so I’ll leave this open for now. Feel free to share any of your thoughts or struggles or whatever in the comments section below, and perhaps there will be an epilogue of sorts to this post on Wednesday.
Thanks for reading my musings – I really do appreciate it.