The great deceiver has whispered this question in humanity's ear since the beginning of time. "Does God really love you?" "Is He really looking out for you?" "Go, see for yourself how great it is to live with out Him". We listened. We continue to listen. Time and time again we listen, we wonder, we go and try to see for ourselves.
But we can't see beyond the hurt, not if we're looking and searching with our own perspective.
We spoke of perspective, the four of us, homeschooling mamas that have become such good friends, at our brand new little book club. We were discussing Ann's book, just the beginning because we hadn't gotten very far into it just yet. The conversation turned to this pain-filled world. The question was asked-How can He be good and allow all this to go on? We talked for a bit, all adding our own thoughts, insights gained and questions that remain. All I could come up with is the perspective. Looking at this place with mortal eyes in a limited timeline adds to the heartbreak. But step back for a moment. Step back and look at this life in light of eternity. This, here, now, is all just a sliver of time compared to forever. The pain and hurt seem unthinkable until they are looked at under the lens of temporary. Because, really, would we not allow our own children pain if it were temporary? We give discipline, say no to requests for new toys. We hold our babes close as the nurse gives the third and fourth immunization. We get them in straight jacket holds to give them their medicine as they scream and protest. We watch small, sad bodies lose hair and strength as we pump them full of poison in hopes and with desperate prayers that the chemo kills the cancer before it kills them. We do this because we know the alternative and we know short term pain is worth the safety and healing and freedom that follows. If we in our limited perspective of time and consequence allow our flesh to suffer temporarily, for their own good, why then wouldn't God allow short term suffering, knowing full well the glory that awaits us for all eternity?
Then, AFTER our little book club, I read what Ann said in chapter 5 " All God makes is good. Can it be that, that which seems to oppose the will of God is actually used of Him to accomplish the will of God? That which seems evil only seems so because of perspective, the way the eyes see the shadows. Above the clouds the light never stops shining." She goes on to talk about the Word being the lens through which we can see God's truth and that Satan is the distortion, the graffiti over His Word. "Without God's Word as a lens, the world warps".
We need His perspective to understand. Hmm. I just so love it when I notice my God speaking directly to me.
How, then, do we answer this question when brought to us by those seeking, by friends who are broken and hurting, by our own angry spirits as we shake our fists at the sky? We hand them the Lens, His Word, on His timetable of eternity. We stand with them, not to shout our dissatisfaction with what's given but to look with His perspective on all the gifts...because it all is gifts... it's all His GRACE.
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)