VERSE OF THE DAY
I grew up with this idea of God watching and waiting to catch me doing something I shouldn't be doing. The white haired guy on a throne waiting to punish me. And then I started hearing stories about Jesus and how he would search for the 1 missing lamb and heal the sick and perform all kinds of miracles. And I thought...hmm, that's a nicer guy than the "old man." But, the old man was still there, waiting, watching, and now testing to see how much I believed in Jesus.
Those two images of God clashed for a longtime. This idea that God sits on high with a calendar and picks out "your" day to suffer or be challenged or go through a trial unfortunately remains for so many people. That is not the biblical picture. That is not the character of God.
I'm glad I have come to believe that God is on my side (there are enough people who are not), and that God does not issue trials to tempt us. We live in a broken world because "we" want our independence from God. We want to call the shots. And oft times, trials, separation, and (perceived) punishment are consequences for that independence.
Next time a trial comes your way, instead of asking "why God?" try reflecting on how it is you have exerted your independence from God...
Dearest Lord, you created me and love me and look out for me more times than I can even imagine. Forgive me when I want my way and get myself in trouble and then blame you. Help me consider what you desire for me and help me turn to you when I can't figure it out or when I can't seem to find the resolve to actually follow through. Then, send your Holy Spirit to guide and strengthen me for the journey, so that I know and feel you with me whatever comes my way. Amen.