I find it really easy to see God as a just ruler and judge.
I can relate to Him as an almighty God but I often struggle to see Him as a loving dad too.
In this space it is hard for me to share the pain and anger or fear I may be feeling with Him, as I tend to believe that He would condemn me for my apparent lack of faith.
But recently, God has been teaching me about His loving heart, and His really big shoulders that can carry my burdens.
I recently shared a conversation with someone I care a lot about.
Someone who I know to be struggling and could really use God's help.
She was just sharing her life with me, but her words were heavy with a deep set pain and a fear-filled uncertainty for the future.
Something about her really struck me, and I longed for God to reach down and help her, but just at that moment, He didn’t.
And I was left feeling pretty angry.
Angry at God who had promised to provide for His children.
Angry that He did not seem to want to help this lady despite knowing that He had every power and ability to do just that.
Why didn't He just help her and take away her pain?
Why didn't He fix the injustice of this world?
I –obviously- knew beyond doubt what she needed.
I –of course- had the most perfect plan.
And I –with all my authority and wisdom- had decided that now was the time to see change in this life and I was angry at God who didn’t seem to be going along with my perfect plan…
So there I was, fuming and angry, knowing full well that God would not care to engage me on this anger.
I mean, to serve Him I need to be totally accepting that He has a plan and never feel anything but awe and reverence to that, right?
So He wouldn’t get it, and if I took this to Him He would condemn and judge me for my lack of trust and obedience.
It’s amazing what we can convince ourselves of if we simply start trusting our own assumptions instead of taking the risk of finding out the truth…
I spent two days walking around being grumpy and angry, ignoring God in much the same way as a sulking child would ignore their parent.
My intentions, I suppose, were honourable or at least understandable, but I had carried them out in a rather ridiculous assumption that somehow by avoiding God my self-righteousness made me right.
But after a while my resolve ran out…
I was standing in the shower when the contempt that I had bottled up finally spewed out in an angry torrent of hastened prayer.
I told God about this lady, and I told Him how mad I was, and I told Him about how I felt that He had let her down. I called on His grace and mercy and reminded Him (because, you know, maybe He had forgotten??) that He was meant to care for the lost and to reach out to the oppressed.
I spoke the last sentence and waited, listening through the silence.
All the while, I am sure He was there, patiently listening, waiting for me to get it all out.
What happened next may have been my own mind. Or it may have been the prompting of the Holy Spirit within me.
Either way, a thought gently crossed my mind. And it came as what His response could have been…
“Robs, you have loved this person and have shared her struggle for eight months.
But I have known every moment of her life, and have been with her through every pain.
I love her, and I have got this…”
Sigh… How do you argue with that?
I felt chastized.
Whether or not this was Him, I knew it was right and I shouldn’t have come to this as I should trust and not question and….
…. “and right now you are hurt, and you can tell me. Because I love you, and I am your Daddy.”
Ever seen a kid that bashes their head, and runs up to Daddy crying because it hurts?
Ever seen that Dad wrapping his kid up in his arms and holding him close till the pain went away?
That’s my dad. That’s Him.
I’m sure He will help this special lady when it is the right time.
I hope He does.
But He doesn’t have to work in my time to be a compassionate and Holy and incredibly caring father.
And maybe it’s ok for us to be hurt and angry and yell and scream and have a little tantrum.
And maybe, just maybe, He will react by wrapping us in His arms and making our “ouchies” that much easier to bare.