You know it’s funny sometimes how you read the bible with such sincerety and then in a flash of humor God just reveals something to you that makes you laugh.
This morning was one of those moments. Now just for the sake of clarity, it’s not like I was laughing hysterically or anything but I chuckled because God gave me such a clear picture of Himself I couldn’t help myself.
So background….In my current position I was recently reminded that I needed to fill some requirements of our Head Office, which we’d missed when I started working more hours. It’s basically an interview process in front of a panel of church leadership that assures the Head Office that I am in fact theologically sound in my biblical knowledge and teachings. To be honest, I knew I had to do this probably about 18 months ago but I thought by not reminding our Administrator I might be able to fly under the radar. Not the best approach I’m sure but having to fill out pages of theologically questions, provide references, then study for a one hour interview in front of 6 or so pastors is not my ideal forum for good times. My faith is personal, my experiences with God are personal, my understanding of scripture is often very child-like in it’s manifestation (at least that’s how I view it). To quote Beth Moore, “God is who He says is, God can do what He says He can do…”. I do question Him but as I’ve shared before my belief in His faithfulness has never really waivered. But one of the topics that really stuck out to me was the creation of mankind in the image of God. To my knowledge that means we are physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, etc. to some degree a replication, although not exact since we live here on Earth, of God’s being.
Anyway, getting back on track. So yesterday I was having “A day” with my kids. I had been at work, the five minutes I had with them after picking them up from school started out well enough but the next five and many minutes after consisted of a lot of whining, complaining, talking back, arguing, etc. “I don’t WANT to do the papers”, “it’s not fair”, “where is my snack”, “that’s not true mom”, “why are we eating THIS for dinner”. My responses were along the same lines. “I don’t care what YOU want”, “I’ll tell you what’s not fair”, “get your own snack”, “it’s true if I say it’s true”, “you have no idea what it’s like to be a starving child in Africa and if you don’t want to eat this then you can just go to bed without dinner”. Sad right. So I pick James up from work and the first thing out of my mouth is a frustrated “grrrr” and me informing him that I may very well strangle one of our children the next time one of them whines at me. I’m sure I’m the only mother who’s ever said that;)
Fastforward to this morning…I’m sitting in staff meeting and our devotional is focused on Exodus 33. We’ve been studying the Israelites and the journey from Egypt and their constant need to be reminded and shown God’s faithfulness. I’m sure there were so many more truthes and nuggets of goodness I could have pulled out of that but you know what I read and laughed at…verse 3&5 which are basically the same thing repeated, “Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” I actually laughed out loud (quietly though because I didn’t feel like sharing my amazing revelation). I felt such relief and actual joy at the realization that we are indeed created in the likeness of our God. Now let me be clear that I am in no way comparing myself to God and my responses were not really acceptable toward my children, also God’s frustration and anger are definitely justified while mine is likely just selfish and unnecessary…BUT in reading the entire passage I saw that God loved/loves His children. He was still giving them the land and sending His angels with them but He was putting them at a distance from Himself because they had done nothing but complain, backslide, betray, disengage from Him over the course of their journey.
This great revelation gives me a moment to ponder that I need to re-evaluate in my own response to Him. How many times have I complained, whined, talked-back to Him regarding a circumstance that in my narrow vision appears unjust. If, as a parent, I experienced even a teensy bit in dealing with my children of what He experiences when dealing with His children I should be more than willing to step back and re-evaluate how I’m responding to where He’s put me. It also gave me pause to rest in the IMAGE I have of myself. When I see my reflection in the mirror I can have a greater confidence that I have been created to be a small piece of the greater reflection of who God is.