Giggles erupt all around me. I look up from looking at patterns at the fabric store and realize what words had just come out of my mouth. Uh oh. However, what I saw were other ladies with smiling faces and I heard the words, “Good one, I think I’m going to use that one.”
So what did I say that got such a response? My son had just come over from looking at Halloween costumes and all the “accessories” that go along with them and he wanted one thing or another. When I said no, I got the usual……say it with me now….
At our house the standard answer was, “Because I’m a mean mom and I like to make you miserable.”
It was so standard that it automatically poured out of my mouth as I sat perusing the pattern book. What was also standard was my son’s reaction: the eye roll. Without another word he went back to looking over the Halloween items there in the store…he knew what I meant. No.
I find myself at times giving the same “wwwhhhhyyyy” to God. It might not be in response to a big thing, but as we all know, in that moment it feels like it’s big: whatever that thing might be. During that time we sometimes think that we get a reply to our whys of, “because I’m a mean God and I like to make you miserable.” Perhaps when we have that thought, we give ourselves the eye roll and a weak “I don’t rrreeeaaallly believe that is God’s response”. But in our hearts we wonder if it really could be/might be so because it sure feels that way.
How could that be? I know better than that. God loves me. We think on Romans 8:28 and tell ourselves that everything works together for good. He would only do what is good and right for me. That is true. Then why, at times, does it seem that He is that mean God that would have us to be miserable?
How might this attitude show up?
It seems mean to make me wait for__________.
It seems mean that I can’t do ____________when it’s for Him and it’s a GOOD thing.
It seems mean that I cannot get what I NEEEEED.
It seems mean that I have to deal with this particular problem.
One example I can give you was when I miscarried. Twice. We wanted to raise our children to serve the Lord. Why then were we being given this gift just to have it taken away from us? Why did others who were not living in a right way not have problems having babies? It seemed mean to make me wait for another baby. It seemed mean that I seemingly could not have another baby when I wanted to bring him/her up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. I NEEEED another baby. It seemed mean that I had to deal with this particular problem. Why us? Why me? Why, why, why? While I realize that these questions might be a normal process, sometimes it felt like God would have us to be miserable.
The Psalmist who wrote Psalm 77 can relate to our questions/thinking.
1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.4 Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.5 I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times.6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.7 Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more?8 Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?9 Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.
Crying, can’t be comforted, complaining, overwhelmed, can’t sleep, doesn’t want to talk, feeling like God’s mercy is gone, thinking that His promises are not really true. Has God forgotten to be nice? Is he mad at me and has shut up His compassion toward me?
But read further. What did this Psalmist do?
10 And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.11I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old.12 I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.13 Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God?14 Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people.15 Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
This Psalmist stared remembering. He remembered the times when God strengthened and protected him. He thought or meditated about His works and how great our God is. He started talking about all of the things that God had done/is doing.
Perhaps we also forget how very much God loves us. It doesn’t matter what we do, how much we mess up, or even how much we do rightly. Whatever that “thing” is that has you feeling like God wants you to be miserable (whether you brought it on yourself or you didn’t), the fact is, God loves us and he does work things together for our good.
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Perhaps now, when we have the thought that maybe God is a mean God and He seems to want to make me miserable, we can give the standard eye roll and start remembering.