Anyone who has had the pleasure of growing up with a sibling most likely has a well-defined sense of justice. Nothing gets a rise out of your brother or sister more than assigning blame to them inaccurately and unfairly. And when a parent is consulted about the atrocity, it’s predictably met with a loud chorus of “It’s not my fault!!” For example, (and this is purely hypothetical) say you happened to find a baby snake while on a day trip to the beach with your mom and little brother and slipped it into your knee sock for safe passage home.
OK, so that’s a silly story to lighten the mood because I really do have something more substantive on my heart, but it’s difficult to delve into (thus the attempt at humor and perhaps some stalling going on….)
Early into the Israel trip, we had been driving through the wilderness, and I mean stark, barren, nothing but rocks and dirt and the occasional scrappy acacia tree…. wilderness. We climbed to the top of Tel Be’er Sheva, historic home to biblical heavy hitters such as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and there shared a devotion given by Brian Hardin, the creator and host of Daily Audio Bible, and the shepherd of our flock of 94 sheep.
I know that….of course it’s not God’s fault….why are you looking at me like that, Brian?
You know those moments when God steps into the story you’ve been telling yourself and totally interrupts the plotline and changes the ending?
Yeh…..that. As a Christian for most of my life, there are certain truths that I accept unequivocally. One of them is that God is good, and always has the best intentions for me. But when you are hurt beyond what you ever imagined possible, suddenly the unequivocal can get squishy. You still know what you should believe, but in your heart of hearts, there’s a little, dark place of doubt that just doesn’t line up with what you know to be true.
I know that place….and I haven’t had to look at it much. Just sweep around the corners once in a while and close the door for another day when I can give it a good cleaning. When Brian looked me square in the eyes (I swear, it felt like that!) and told me it wasn’t God’s fault I felt hot tears form and spill down my cheeks before I even knew what was happening and God very gently told me it was time to clean house. All of the house….
So, see why I led with a silly, sibling story? This is hard stuff….but it’s also good, necessary work if we want to flourish as people of God. I lift our little community here daily before God in prayer and want you to know you are seen, you are loved and you are held by God who will never let you go.
So much love,