Friday, November 13, 2015

NOVEMBER 13 "GOD SURE SEEMS MEAN"

There are times my daughter (Shania) has not understood me. There are times Shania has thought that I was mean, uncaring…..and probably thought my behavior was quite unchristian.  I remember harshly confronting a young unchristian man that kept coming out to church and was vehemently pursuing my daughter and always trying to get her somewhere alone where they “could talk”.  On several occasions I politely said hi to him and then interrupted their “moments” and told my daughter to come with me. However he would follow or cut her off in the hallway later on in the service, he just would not be deterred. I’ve seen too many, young, unsuspecting, easily flattered girls, seduced and ripped off from the church, by wolves in sheep’s clothing, to allow it to happen to my own daughter.  After the stern confrontation, he stopped coming to church. My daughter did not look at me with high regard and respect for this act, as a matter of a fact, it was the opposite, she saw me in a different light, she saw it as a negative mark in my character. All I heard for the next few weeks was “my dad is mean, he says he cares, but yet chases away, this poor, troubled young man who is simply seeking God”. It tainted her view of me just like our scripture in Ezekiel has tainted our view of God. “He is mean, uncaring…poor guy, God just takes his wife from him, who would do something like that, surely not a caring God”. My daughter was reading this story in her One Year Bible and asked me about it, she too was perplexed by God’s actions and behavior.  I thought to myself, “what is their to say, it is a very strange situation.  And to make matters worse, God tells Ezekiel that he is not to shed a tear either. I don’t know about you, but I would prefer that these stories were not in the bible and that I did not have to try to explain them to my daughter, and honestly, to myself. I am trying to teach my daughter and others of God’s great love and kindness and then she reads this odd story, the same one you read, and wondered, “wow…God sure can be mean and weird. My answer to Shania was simply, “yes, God did take her, I guess Heaven is a bad place to go eh?”. It was a tongue and cheek comment, and she did laugh…. “a little”.  I know my bible tells me “that there is no sin found in our God and all His ways are just and true” and I must trust in that scripture as I want my daughter to trust me when my behavior, seems to her, unbecoming, in her opinion, of a caring ,Christian man. I had the opportunity some time later to do some ministry in a Juvenile Detention Center and I was in with a group of young men, doing a bible study, when one of these young men, finally looked up at me (he had his head down the whole time) and said, “do you remember me?” That’s when it became evident to me who this young man was; it was the young man that was coming to church, hitting on my daughter months earlier. He was up to trouble then and has continued in trouble since.  At the time my behavior seem unjustified in my daughter’s eyes, but it was not. I had a higher purpose; beyond that moment, in the foyer of our Church.  My higher purpose was my daughter and the preservation of her innocence and her future. I personally think the brutality of Jesus’ death and the suffering Jesus went through also makes God look mean, strange and different than what I would expect of God. However there was a higher purpose beyond those two days that Jesus suffered;  that is beyond my/our understanding. We don’t have to try to justify God in every story in the Bible and try to make excuses for Him and/or his behavior. We simply have to say, “I admit, that is strange, I admit that does seem quite mean of God and I’m sorry if that story only gives you more reason “not to serve him”, but I trust him even though I don’t always understand God or agree, I do trust in his character”.  The truth is God’s people today still lose their wives, still lose their children, still lose their grandchildren and although God did not show up and audibly tell them, “I’m going to take your wife’ the end result was the same…the wife, the child or grandchild was taken and when we know that God is Omnipotent and could have stopped it, it only makes it that much worse. In those times we can turn on God and become Atheists or we can say, “though I don’t understand and I don’t agree, I will continue to trust and follow you because I know that all thy ways are just and true”…….perhaps that’s why Job in his suffering said, “though he slay me, yet will I praise Him!”