Beach time!

Beach time!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

No, son. God is not a puppy snatcher.

Find rest , O my soul, in God alone;
my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

Psalm 62:5-8

There is so much in this world that is uncertain and unknown. When our sense of hope and joy rely on these things, then we are bound to be disappointed, heartbroken. But, when God alone is our hope, our rock, and our refuge, there is never hopelessness. Never. He can never let us down. True, we live in a fallen and sinful world where sickness, sin, and heartache reign. But God is not the source of these things. Where there is sickness, God provides hope. Where there is sin, God provides redemption. Where there is heartache, God provides restoration. He is the exact opposite of all that is in this world. Yet, He gets blamed for so much. We've all blamed God at some point in the midst of a difficult situation. We feel as though God should have (and could have) reached his hand down and stopped the devastation.

I'll never forget when our first dog died. Our oldest son was 3 or 4 at the time. We were explaining that Bethany had gotten sick and died and had gone to "heaven" (don't read too much into the theology here of pets in heaven-he was little). At this point, he started to weep bitterly. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that it wasn't fair that God would go around snatching up the puppies of little boys just so He could have it in heaven. "Does he just reach down his big 'ol hand and take puppies, Mom?" Oy. Now we were in deep. We had to explain that no, God is not mean and he does not go around taking puppies of little boys. After a 15 minute theological discussion (on a preschool level) about God's relationship with us, he was satisfied. Whew.

Isn't that sometimes our view of God? That He has the tendency to stick his hand out from heaven and stir things up on earth? Maybe he could have prevented a tragedy or kept a person from sinning. Fortunately, God has given every person the ability to make choices, including the choice to love and follow Him. Unfortunately, that choice does not exclude us from heartache on this earth.

However, when I live this psalm out in my life, I am not easily swayed by the circumstances of my life. When God is my joy and my strength, I can stand no matter what happens on this earth. Will we hurt? Most certainly. But given the chance, God wants to restore and heal every hurt. When I pour out those hurts, fears, frustrations, and feelings of helplessness to Him, he can reach his hand down to my heart and restore it to His fullness.

God will give us rest. God will give us hope. And He will give us peace. All we have to do is rely on Him and Him alone. Then, we will not be shaken.

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