I almost titled this blog, "God is a liar", but I didn't want to give those who know me a heart attack.
This has been a week filled with reminders that God can be trusted...He never lies.
I have a facebook friend who recently asked the question, "Can God lie?" and it got me thinking. I mean, I immediately knew the answer, but when I started to write my response, I realized I didn't act as if I did. While I know that God cannot lie, I find myself worrying about things and lying awake at night trying to figure out how to make life what I think it should be....in essence, I'm calling God a liar and not taking Him at His Word. If I were, I'd be sleeping like a baby instead of tossing and turning trying to figure out how we are going to make ends meet or what tomorrow will hold. See what I mean?
A quote by Max Lucado caught my attention this week. He said, "Our problem is not so much that God doesn’t give us what we hope for as it is that we don’t know the right thing for which to hope." I can really identify with this. I remember times in my life when I have been disappointed with God. While part of me wanted to believe in His promises, a bigger part of me wanted to pitch a two-year-old fit. Now, if you've never been around a two-year-old perhaps this is a foreign concept to you, but for all of us who have ever dealt with a two-year-old who was not getting what they wanted, the picture is pretty clear. They will pout, scream, bargain, yell, plead.....pretty much anything to get their way. If you dare to act as if you know what is best for them...well, let's just say earplugs and a strong will come in very handy in times like that.
I can say this, because I remember very well a time in my life when I was disappointed with God. Tragedy had struck and to be honest, it just wasn't fair! I was being good and others weren't and yet somehow they were being allowed to hurt me! I did all the predictable 2 year old things....I bargained, pleaded, cried...I even shook my fist at God and told Him if that was who He was, I chose not to serve him. Now if I had been God, a lightning bolt would have made an appearance to straighten this little 2-year-old out! (Good thing I'm not God!) Instead, the very next day God poured out His love on me in such a real way that I knew....I had no idea who He was or how much He loved me. God wasn't unfair, He was simply my Father and He knew what I needed far more than I did. The situation didn't change, by the way, but I did.
So back to the question. Is God a liar? We know, of course, that the answer is no. So why do I act as if He is?My problem seems to come from either my two-year-old self that has placed my hope in the wrong thing, or in the fact that I am rehearsing the problems instead of His promises. It's easy for me to lie in bed and think about the bills or the plumbing or what tomorrow will bring. To lie there and think about His promises takes a bit more discipline on my part. First of all, I've got to know what His promises are and then focus on them! I also have to rehearse in my mind all the times I've seen God be faithful in the past - times He was faithful even when I was faithless. I have to remind myself that God does not lie. I also have to trust that God doesn't really need my help to figure all this out. He knows what tomorrow will bring.
This week, I also had a friend share something with me that resonated in my soul. She said something along the lines of "God has a plan for you that's good....so if it's not good yet, He's not finished." The cake is still baking, the picture is still developing, the quilt is still being sewn..... He's not finished yet.
A song by Josh Wilson called "Before the Morning" came on the radio the other day and pretty much had me in tears before I got to where I was going. (Video link) It answers the question so much better than I ever could:
"Do you wonder why you have to,
feel the things that hurt you,
if there's a God who loves you,
where is He now?
Maybe, there are things you can't see
and all those things are happening
to bring a better ending
some day, some how, you'll see, you'll see
Would you dare, would you dare, to believe,
that you still have a reason to sing,
'cause the pain you've been feeling,
can't compare to the joy that's coming
so hold on, you got to wait for the light
press on, just fight the good fight
because the pain you've been feeling,
it's just the dark before the morning
My friend, you know how this all ends
and you know where you're going,
you just don't know how you get there
so just say a prayer.
and hold on, cause there's good for those who love God,
life is not a snapshot, it might take a little time,
but you'll see the bigger picture"....
The message has been coming to me over and over this week, so, I guess it's time for this two year old to start acting like I believe what I say I believe. It's time to trust God. Care to join me in the adventure?
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11
"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful." Hebrews 10:23
"God is not a man, that he should lie, nor a son of man, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?" Numbers 23:19