This afternoon my pops and I took a little trip to the park and played a few rounds of bocce ball. It was a chance for us to get our mind off of our present moment troubles and focus on a mildly effortless game. Neither of us care too much about who wins, we were just enjoying the beautiful evening and pleasant company. As I mentioned yesterday I am very blessed to have a father who is humble in his imperfections, selfless in his time, and who sees my mistakes and failures as an opportunity for me to learn and grow. Although we've had our moments and our disagreements, He's truly an inspiration to me in so many ways and helps me see that there is a Father who loves us even more than my own dad is capable.
After our little game of bocce I sat by the lake enjoying the stillness of the water and the brilliance of the sun. I heard a father and his child conversing as they reached the shore. The first thing the girl wanted to do was take her shoes off and jump in, but her dad denied her of that freedom. Then she wanted to run and he told her to slow down. After that she started to play, but he just verbalized his annoyance and wanted to leave. Although it was a sweet gesture bringing her to this captivating place, he seemed as though he cared not for her happiness. I just kept thinking about how she might view God as she gets older. Will she see Him for who He truly is, or will the only representation of a father she knows skew her picture of God's great love?
I've had many conversations with people about their up-bringing. Some adults see the connection between how they were raised and how they now view God, but some don't. Even the ones that do have to sort through so many past emotions that it can sometimes be quite exhausting. Some of you have been abused, forgotten, abandoned, rejected, or mistreated by your own dads. It wouldn't be a surprise if you were afraid God might do the same one day. We don't always realize that our false accusation of God, sometimes completely unintentional, can be detrimental to that relationship. It can actually cause us to hold back from God- not fully trusting, or it can even keep us from living in the freedom of His abounding love and walking in His truth. He so desperately wants us to KNOW who He really is by His living word and the miracle of His heart captivating ours. God wants to banish the lies that we've believed about who we think He is and heal those broken places. We can't forget that we are "adopted kids" meaning HE CHOSE US. Hard to believe sometimes I know.... but He did. I want to remind you that He will not forget you, forsake you, abandon you, reject you or mistreat you. You are safe in His care.
I encourage everyone to pray into this a little bit. What are some lies you may have believed about God because of ways you have been treated poorly on this earth. One thing God knows how to do right that many humans get wrong, is how to love us well. After you've walked through some of your past it could feel a somewhat heavy or burdensome. At this point remember to release those lies and negative emotions to God asking Him to break off anything that is not His truth about who you are in Him and who He is to you. Forgiveness will bring a whole new level of freedom in your life. Also, go back and read (day thirty-three) heart doc: the hand that holds and heals as a refresher for what God says about you, His child.
So, I'm not exactly sure if this is a call to all men to be a proper representation of Christ to your families... or for all mankind to see God for how God wants us to see Him. Regardless, when we do see the truth- nothing can keep us from praising Him. I recently ran across this short clip on someone's facebook wall and now feel I should share this timely and motivating message with you! Who really is our daddy?
B90: (Lamentations 1- Ezekiel 7:27) Gosh, it really is tough to see the good parts of God as you're reading through these books. I have a little theory that was revealed to me today in an analogy that may only bring up more questions for you. For me, it is a picture to help explain these sticky parts in the bible we just wanna toss. Since I haven't done extensive research finding biblical truths to support it, then I will probably just ask a lot of questions. I'm going to attempt to simplify this, so bear with me.
I felt the sun bearing down on me today as I was reading these very chapters on the back porch several hours ago. I absolutely LOVE the sun. I can sit for hours and be completely satisfied. I love the warmth, the brightness, and even that thing it does to my soul that makes it happy. Then I started thinking of all the warnings people heed about it's deadly rays, skin cancer and such. This doesn't make me love the sun any less, but it does confuse me as to why something so wonderful could be so damaging and unkind. Then I realized that the sun had not always been dubbed as the skin hater. It seems (by most folk) that our toxic world is thinning the very thing created to protect us from the power of the sun.
Let's travel back to Eden for a moment, shall we? If God's intentions for us humans were to live in Eden and not eat of the apple (in my opinion the very first toxin that ever effected our world), but to live in perfect harmony and freedom with Him... then the ozone would have stayed intact and the sun would never harm us. Nevertheless, we know how the story goes... they took a bite, the fall of the world began, and sin began to infuse the perfect earth with it's toxic reputation.
Carefully taking this a step further: I wonder how much this might relate to our powerful and mighty God. We want to only see the good, believe the good, and explain the good of God. The moment something terrible happens, many questions arise that we sometimes can't answer. Our faith tells us that God is worthy of our praise no matter of the situation. But our mind can become a tad confused and a little bit frightened at times. Is it possible that the sin in the world has (in a sense) eaten away at the "ozone layer" that now reveals all of who God is. So- like the sun- instead of us only seeing the warm fluffy stuff we now have to see the just/righteous/judgment part of God's character as well? I could be totally off, and rightly so... I'm posing some pretty "out there" questions. I would just like to explore the possibility of this analogy in a safe environment... that's all :) "If" the Eden Fam (A & E) hadn't taken a bite of that apple, I have to wonder if we would have ever seen the"just" side of God (the hard parts we can't explain)? I'm proposing there would be no need to since there was no sin before the bite... but i'm just curious as to how this might help us see God in a clearer light I suppose. This is why it is crucial that we know the word of God and ALL that it says/reveals about Him. I'm very good at translating the love of God to an audience of one or a thousand, but find it a little more difficult explaining His love in a tragic situation. We must always keep a healthy fear of God, but remember in the same moment what His very son did for us... and covers us with His blood that protects us from those powerful rays. He desires for us to soak up every ounce of His son and never forget what a loving Dad He is.
If you have not read Lamentations in awhile, it would be proper research for this blog. If you do, pay close attention to Chapter 3:20-41. I'd be interested if you see it through new eyes with a clearer picture of God's character or not. Anyhow, feedback is awesome... I wanna know what is going on in the heads and hearts of all of you! Again, I apologize if this complicated things for you... my hope is that it will challenge all of us to go deeper in His word and seek His face even more! Email me if you have any thoughts, questions, disagreements, or prayer requests... I want His truth to be represented more than anything. firstname.lastname@example.org