What’s a feller to do? Sam had worked hard for 40 years at the same company. Upon retirement, he sold his house for a healthy profit and moved to a small condo in Florida, with a deep satisfaction that his faithfulness and diligence had paid off. No one in his family had ever been able to finish college and hold a job for any length of time. His extended family all seemed trapped in the quagmire of loafing and sponging, so retiring with money in the bank seemed like heaven.
Then came the texts and voicemails:
· “Dad, I know I haven’t called in 4 months, but my car is in the shop. I need $300 or I won’t be able to go to work.”
· “Uncle Sam, we’re about to lose our house, could you float us a loan? I know it’s a big favor, but my wife said you were a generous man.”
· “Grandpa, sorry we don’t have time to come see you, but there’s a really neat baseball camp I could go to if you’ll send dad $400.”
· “Dad, I can’t believe you’re ignoring my calls. Don’t you care that we are in a tough spot?”
Sam had the power to help these folks, but helping them might actually perpetuate their dependency. And nobody seemed to have time to just call and talk or come down for a visit. What’s a feller to do? If he helps them on their terms they will just expect more. If he doesn’t help, they will accuse him of being uncaring.
God is in a similar situation. He is all-powerful and He owns everything, but He is also bound to principles. He cares, but He can’t bow to man-made morals and values. This inflexibility causes many to consider Him harsh and judgmental. So, what is God to do?
God has gone to great lengths to communicate His love. He created an earthly body and He lived among us. He demonstrated love, mercy, truth and justice. He went about doing good. People followed Him for his great teaching. They loved it when he did miracles and fed them. They flocked to him for healing and were wowed when He raised people from the dead. They were in awe when he calmed the seas and walked on water. Everybody was a “believer” and wanted a piece of Him when He was blessing them. But when it came to loving Him back, that didn’t go to well. Eventually they nailed Him to a tree. They wanted the God of gifts but they detested the God of accountability. They wanted stories that explained life, but they rejected the call to live a life regulate by God’s immutable laws.
So, what is a good, loving God to do? He can’t change who He is. He can’t pretend like we humans do. God already did exactly what He was supposed to do. He demonstrated His power and love and then patiently waited for those who would realize that this all-powerful Creator wants a loving relationship with them. For centuries people have thrown fits and insisted on doing life their way – blaming God for many self-inflicted problems. But God just continued being good, loving and patient.
I wonder how many people talk to God just because they love Him? When was the last time you asked God how He was feeling? When was the last time you prayed to spend time with him? Those who venture into a real relationship will experience a love that will take them to a place where they are no longer seeking God for what he can do for them, but they are seeking God for who He is.