I'm A Lot Like Him...Even When I Don't See It

"And He passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD,
the compassionate
and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love
and faithfulness..."

~Exodus 34:6

I remember being young in Sunday School and being filled with so many questions. I'm sure that my teacher was glad for the days I was sick and unable to attend church, but that didn't happen often. It was probably very hard for her to be my teacher, more than likely wanting to knock me over the head with her bible or tape my mouth shut. But she didn't.

Today, while reading a familiar story in my bible that puzzled me as a young girl, I can see it the way God meant for me to see it. Of course, to do this, I had to age thirteen years! It all came back to me, so clearly, sitting in that basement Sunday school room at the table, the smell of must and mold everywhere, the room cool and damp. "Why would God do that?" I said. "Why would God kill those men just because they accidentally touched the Chest of God?" My teacher didn't have a pleasing answer that satisfied me. I just sat there, frowning down at my bible, arms crossed…stubborn, oh, so very stubborn (that part has not changed in these thirteen years).

But now I imagine God sitting in the seat beside me, leaning onto the table, chin in His hand, a silly smile on His lips. He would have said, "Darling child, do you think me so cruel?"

"Of course I do!" I'd proclaim, chin set, raising just a fraction more into the air. "It was an accident. If you kill everyone that makes an accident, we shall all be dead!"

"More than likely," He would say, smile only widening, never once growing angry.

"Well, aren't you going to tell me why you did it?" Incredulous.

"No." Simple answer.

"And why not?"

A little chuckle. "Because I do not need to explain myself."

My ire boils. "But it makes you sound so mean. And I know you are not mean and cruel. Tell me why you would do it!"

A slow smile. "I can be mean and cruel, should I please."

"No! Because then people will not love you." Through my stubbornness, tears begin to sting the backs of my eyes. I don't know why the tears are there, but they are. It makes me angrier.

"Do you love me?"

I can't look at Him. I'm angry, yes, so very angry that He won't tell me why He does the things the way that He does them. A big part of me wants to shout that I do not love Him. I do not understand Him, after all! How can I love something that I do not understand? He doesn't even try to help me understand. He's just sitting there, smiling at me, a lazy look about Him with chin in hand, His eyes shining at me…amused…by me. But there is something more there in His eyes that dances with the humor.

"Do you love me?" He asks again.

"You know that I do." I say, barely more than a whisper. A tears escapes, I angrily wipe it away.

"And you still think me mean and cruel?"

Silence for a long moment. "Sometimes You seem that way."

Another chuckle. "Sometimes you seem mean and cruel."

"That's because sometimes I am!" I won't lie.

Another tear runs down my cheek, but I don' have time to wipe it away. Instead, He reaches out and catches it in His hand. I glance over. He rubs the tear between His fingers until it disappears. A smile is still on His beautiful face. Then he catches me looking at Him. His eyes sparkle and shine. "You aren't mean and cruel," He says, slowly. "You are filled with stubbornness, yes, and a million questions, yes. But not meanness and cruelty." He chucks my chin. "Dear One, you are filled with so much love that sometimes it gets the best of you…even makes you angry…makes you yell..makes you fight like a starving lioness."

My eyes snap to His, but I find no condemnation there, etched in His face. He is still smiling. I stare at Him for a long moment, stunned that He doesn't think I'm mean a and cruel. Didn't He see how I talked to my mother the other day? Or how I lost my temper with my little brothers, obnoxious as they were? I knew He could see the darkness that I tried to stuff away in the very back of my heart. How could He sit there, smiling at me like that? Catching my tears in his hands?

By the way He looked at me, I could see that He meant every word He had spoken and that He knew every thought racing through my mind. He suddenly reached out and pulled me into His lap, cupping my head with His hand against the hollow of His neck. I could feel His heartbeat, smell the honey scent rising from His clothes. "Dear One," He was saying softly, the breath from His lips tickling the back of my neck. "You do not need to worry about who you are and if you measure up in My eyes. You forget that I knew you before you drew your first breath." He smoothed my hair down my back as He spoke. I closed my eyes…feeling so very safe. "I knew everything you would do, say, think…before you even knew it yourself. Do you make mistakes? Of course you do. I wouldn't expect you not to." Then He pulled me away, forcing me to look up into His beautiful eyes. "But you have nothing to be ashamed of, darling girl, for you are My daughter…and so very much like Me."

Thirteen years later, I finally realize that I don't need to know why God did some of the things He did in the Bible. I still don't need to know why He does some of the things He does today. I've experienced so much pain that I know He could have prevented me from feeling. He could have sheltered me in His hands and not let a single bad thing happen to me. Even now, God could blow all of my struggles and worries out of the water and give me my every hearts desire at a whim. But He doesn't. And why should He? He loves me so much that He will not raise me to be a spoiled child that does not know her own way in this word. He loves me so much that He can see what the storms will make me when I emerge from the other side: still stubborn, still with some fight in me, still with questions, and still ready to face this life even as I reach out my hand and tell Him that I will not do it without Him.

God cloaks Himself in mystery. He does not owe us an answer to every question, as we do not need to answer every single question our own children bring to us. I understand that. But I know for certain, that even thirteen years later, God is still sitting beside me, an amused smile on His face, His chin in His hand…and He is watching me, listening to me, laughing with me, catching my tears, drawing me up into His arms, and loves me with so much endless love that I cannot begin to feel but a fraction of it while on this earth.

And the same goes for you. Do not believe for a second that anything that you have done in this life can make God look at you with anything but love in His eyes. Even though You may have not heard His voice in years or received His love at all (His love is always present, but we have to accept it), with one quick swoop, God will gladly sweep you into His arms should You ever want Him to. For we are all His Dear Ones.


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