A Story for Our Times
Once upon a time, there was a woman who had a young son. She loved him very much, and wanted the best for him. One day, she wanted to spend some time being close—cuddling and talking in their favorite chair. She loved being close with her dear boy. But when she asked if he’d like to cuddle, he replied, “Aw, Mom! I’d rather go outside and play.”
Out he went, leaving his disappointed mom behind.
She promptly called the next door neighbor, who owned a vicious attack dog. “Would you please untie your dog so he’ll attack my son?” she asked.
“Certainly,” said the dog’s owner.
No more than a minute later, a blood-curdling scream issued from the back yard, and her son tore through the door into his mother’s arms. The dog had indeed attacked and bitten him.
The mom scooped him up and proceeded to comfort him in their special chair. They cuddled and had a time of true mother/son closeness.
Meanwhile, across town, there was a man who cherished his daughter—she was truly “Daddy’s little girl.” However, she had a bad habit of running into the street without looking.
Concerned for his daughter’s safety, the dad decided it was time to take drastic action. He had been doing some work on the family car in the driveway, when he suggested she play with her sidewalk chalk near where he was working. She was delighted, and soon lost herself in her colorful designs.
She was so distracted that she didn’t notice her dad start the car and slam it into reverse. Before she could react, the car ran over one of her legs, mangling it badly.
Her dad rushed her to the hospital and made sure she received the best care possible.
Though she recovered, she was hampered by a limp for the rest of her life.
From that day forward, she had a healthy respect (or maybe an unhealthy fear) of cars, and never again dashed into the street without looking. Her limp was a constant reminder to be careful around vehicles, and her dad was relieved that she had learned her lesson.
So…what do you think of these parents?
Before you judge them too harshly, consider that this is exactly what many well-meaning Christians believe God is like.
Any time someone proclaims that God (they usually add something like, “In His sovereignty”) does something like, oh let’s just say, sends a pandemic, they’re accusing him of being just like these parents.
While it’s true that those parents loved their kids and wanted the best for them, their methods were downright awful!
Yet, why is it okay to accuse God of the same things?
Maybe it’s because He’s so good at using lousy situations for good (see Romans 8:28 and Genesis 50:20 for starters) that we think He wants to strike His children with calamity so He can work in our lives.
But it’s our enemy who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10) and give us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7), and so on.
Yes, God disciplines us (Hebrews 12:6), but He’s not sadistic. I believe He’s fully capable of leading and instructing us without acting like the devil himself.
The next time you’re tempted to say that God sent something bad to teach us, stop and consider the life of Jesus (who came to do His father’s will—John 6:38), and the fact that it’s God’s kindness that leads us to repentance (Romans 2:4).
I've included some old blogs along with the new. Should you ever find yourself suffering from insomnia, this is the place for you! That's as poetic as I get...