One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made in my walk with the Lord is taking on a very negative attitude regarding how my Heavenly Father deals with me. It is so easy to behave like a spoiled brat when the God you serve is so generous. What if we were docked 10 beats of our heart per hour when we fell short or 15 seconds of breathing every minute? One of the important things I had to learn about God is that He is not spiteful. I may be at times and those I may have to deal with occasionally may be, but my God isn’t. He doesn’t return to me what I give to Him.
He’s not out to get me.
That’s hard to believe when you’ve been sold a religion all your life that tells you to see God through a lens of “good” and “bad”. Yes, it’s true that God is good. But as my spiritual leader, Apostle Watson so eloquently put it, “God is good but He isn’t nice”.
Wow. Ain’t THAT the truth?
Think of it this way. I consider myself to be an ok mom…lol! Well, for the sake of this blog entry, I’ll call myself “good”. But when it comes to my children, and moments of discipline, I don’t always appear to be nice. However, I am still GOOD even when I must discipline them. If I was a bad mom, I wouldn’t correct the behavior that could lead to their destruction in the long run.
I’ve been guilty of treating God like a glorified vending machine. I press F-2 and wait for my delicious honeybun (which I DO NOT eat anymore, thank you… lol!) to come rolling down into the bin. But instead, granola rolls down. What happens? I throw a fit! I bang on the machine, shake it, curse at it, and call it broken. If God were a vending machine, there would be something wrong with Him if we asked Him for a honeybun and instead He gave us granola. But He’s not a vending machine, or a genie or a slave to our wants and desires. He is a Father and it is His responsibility to give us “good and perfect” gifts.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made a decision my children didn’t agree with and laughed, sometimes aloud and told them, “I don’t care how mad you get. BE mad. It’s still not going to happen because it’s not good for you!” Any parent worth his or her salt knows that it’s almost impossible to do the right thing by your child without becoming the bad parent in their eyes.
At some point, whether it’s the kicking, screaming toddler or the cursing swearing teenager, a parent must accept the title of “enemy” to their children. Parenting requires patience. There is some suffering involved. You have to know as a parent that although they can’t see it now, one day, they will see the wisdom of your words and the love in your correction. They will see for themselves the pitfalls they were spared because you loved them enough to be the bad guy. Some children may even apologize for being so disrespectful in their state of immaturity and ignorance.
But most parents who love their children won’t think much of it. Instead they realize it comes with the territory and are thankful that now, with the passage of time, their children have grown in maturity and understanding and are now able to make their contribution to the world.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been tempted to sink into the well of self pity. Does anybody really care about what I’m going through? Does anybody see how hard it is to be a single mom? Does anyone give a flying flip about everything I have to deal with in a day? An hour? Per minute?
It’s easy to assume God doesn’t care when you get down to pray, push F-2 and expect for your honeybun prayer to be answered.
But what if what God desires to send into your life is far better and superior to what you’re asking Him to give you? If He is the One with the advantage of foresight and omniscience,  what kind of God would He be if He gave you less than best? So if He doesn’t send the honeybun that you requested, can you see past the denial and trust Him for a better answer?
God sees everything you go through. You’re not some distant dot on the face of the planet that is barely seen under a microscope to Him. You’re as near to God as the palm of His hand. Your ways are ever before Him. He’s intimately acquainted with you and knows your thoughts a long way off. There’s no escaping Him. He’s honed in on you! So before you take up a case against Him, remember this about Him. He cares about you. Everything in your life is a result of His care. Even in difficulties, His mercy and grace can be seen. Even in disappointments, His love is evident.
When you pray, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Most of us pray in a sort of “auto pilot” fashion. We pray out of habit, but make no real heart or head connection to the words we speak or the One we’re talking to. So here are a few things to keep in mind when you pray:
You are heard! Sounds simple, right? Well, you’d be surprised just how easy it is to forget that God hears you when you pray to Him and He’s LISTENING. You’re not talking to the ceiling or even to yourself. You have His full attention when you come before Him in prayer. Because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we enjoy access to the Father and are recipients of the abundance of His mercy and grace. Come before Him understanding this and your prayer life will begin to change for the better.
You are loved. Again, sounds like a no brainer, right? But far too many of us come before God almost ducking for cover, expecting lightning bolts to hit us at any given moment. Many of us feel punished by God through our life’s circumstances. We assume that when adversity comes, it is God’s wrath. Here’s something you should know: Those God loves, He chastens or “corrects”. God can use adversity to correct us but it is NEVER an act of His anger. Trust me, if God were completely angry with you, you’d be CONSUMED, wiped out… NO MORE. If you’re still here reading and blinking, you can rest assured that God isn’t angry with you. He loves you and if something is happening in your life that feels too difficult, He desires to walk with you through that circumstance and show you a better way to live. Receive the correction of the Lord with gladness. Realize God is FOR you. This is important because if you can see God for the loving God He is, you’ll stop seeing everything in your life that may not line up with your idea of perfection as His displeasure with you.
So the next time you feel tempted to exclaim in frustration, “WHO CARES?!”, believe with all sincerity that GOD cares. He cared enough to send His very best gift to you, which is His Son, Jesus Christ. He is committed to your perfection, your maturity and your growth in Him. He may have found you in a mess but He will not leave you in one. Sometimes your life feels like it’s being turned upside down and sometimes, it actually is. But this is only because He must remove things that hinder your advancement in the long run. Some things make you comfortable but they do NOT make you better. God is not angry at you or waiting to stomp you flat. He may not be nice, but He is ALWAYS good. God cares and you need to know this today. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve messed up and missed. Come to Him and believe that #1, you are heard and #2 you are loved. It’s time you allowed God to be more than a vending machine that’s marked “out of order” in your life. Allow Him to be who He’s always been, and that’s your Heavenly Father.