Thursday, March 30, 2006

Deuteronomy 8:5-6

"Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the Lord thy God chasteneth thee.
Therefore thou shalt keep the commandments of the Lord thy God, to walk in his ways, and to fear him."
Deuteronomy 8:5-6


I think this is a really good thing--really important thing--to remember.  Sometimes we are tempted to believe in an image of a God without any sharp edges.   Pure, perfect, beautiful, and always sweet... up there in Heaven just pouring down goodness all the time, to everyone indiscriminately... trying to overwhelm the evil in the world with good.  Almost like a woman trying to cure her son of a murderous rage by kissing him. ... And the thing about that is that it is one of the best lies (or most deceiving), because it is so close to the truth.   God *is* pure, perfect, and beautiful... he also always loves us, and always wants the best for us, no matter what we do.  But the lie we so easily believe is that he has the same weaknesses that we do.  We believe that his love makes him weak, and that he won't chastise anyone because he loves us too much.   God's love is more powerful than that.  He loves us MORE than if he were paralyzed by love.  He loves us so much that, despite the pain to us, and despite the pain to himself watching us suffer... he will still correct us, instruct us, and lead us to be better than we are.  As long as there is any tiny, microscopic fragment of hope left, he is there: pleading, cajoling... drawing us out, reminding us of who we are (HIS children), and of our potential.   But not only pleading. There are definite huge, physical, painful lessons that we have to learn sometimes.   We have to learn to deal with grief.  We have to learn to deal with pain, with heartbreak, with desolation.   He loves us too much to spare us those lessons.  He knows that we will be stronger and better afterward.  He allows us to suffer the consequences of our actions... to start to learn the end from the beginning.  This life is a test, not a picnic.   Let's remember that we have non-picnic lives... then it will be easier to remember that God loves us, even when the bad things happen.  We won't start doubting him the minute the pain starts.  Instead, we can learn to understand love on a deeper level... a level that looks past the pain, to the lesson, and to the people that we can become... better than we have ever dreamed, and *definitely* better than we would be if we were spared our lessons.

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