Side, that is.
I know. “Ah-HAH! Got ‘im! At LAST I’ve nailed Dan on a grammatical fox paws. YESSSSS! My life is now complete!”
You need to get out more. Find a hobby.
“Yeah, but YOU said——-“
Breathe. Again. Better? Okay. If, ah, you can manage to stop giggling long enough, let’s try again.
“I’m good. No, really.”
God knows your ugly side. The one you’d just as soon nobody else ever sees or knows even exists.
He’s patiently observed you across the years as you gradually worked at perfecting your imperfection.
“Okay, wait. You’re sayin’ this profile pic of Mr. or Ms. Pukey Scuzzworth I’ve got stuffed down in my heart’s hip pocket is my fault; and to top it off GOD has been just standing around with His hands in His pockets, watching me. . . uglify myself?”
Sorry. Distracted by humor. Remind me to share it later. Key word: confetti. Now, then–your concerns matter to me. They do. I just——-
“See? SEE? You’re–you are chuckling ag—-okay, now you’re LAUGHING again. Look, you brought this up. I mean, if I could break in on your disgusting display of snarfling coffee and peanut-butter-cracker crumbs all over your keyboard, do you mind answering my question?”
Okay, sure. Short answer is yes.
God is a gentleman despite what His critics avow. He stands ready to instantly respond to your slightest step of faith, yes. Absolutely. But He will not defy your will. No matter how much He loves you and has His warring angels sittin’ on ready to send backup, God won’t override your choices.
Mm-hmm. I know; me, too. Many’s the time I’ve wished He would.
Choices have consequences. I hate that part. Love the forgiveness bit but that consequences stuff? Not so much. I’ve probably tried all the “Best-Of” rationalizations on God. Do you know–not ONE of them ever worked? No matter how much I tried to gussy them up with all that God-loves-me-and-understands bilge, I knew the truth. Regardless of how I tried to spiff it up it was still me wanting my own way and conveniently (I thought at the time) ignoring His.
As it turns out, not convenient after all.
Still with me? On the other hand, the amount of good in you is not changed because of a single slip-up. The apostle Paul wrote that nothing you could ever do will ever cause God to love you less.
Yeah, really. Bible it. Romans 8.
Here come the consequences. This isn’t a passel of rules to keep; it’s a relationship to cherish.
Please get this. Relationships require two people, reciprocating love, esteem, understanding and respect. Relationships are two-way streets. At any point one can choose to walk away and there’s nothing the other can do to stop that close-knit bond from unraveling. It amounts to intellectual separation. You know it. You’ve felt the hurt, the frustration. Right? You wanted to keep being friends, did everything imaginable to make it happen. But the other said, “Nope” and walked.
Think how God feels. He’s literally given of Himself to make a relationship between you and Him possible. Then, based on His perfect nature He’s promised that nothing–no exterior force, be it natural or supernatural, can pry you loose from His unlimited, fathomless love for you.
Nothing. Nothing, that is, except—
Because this thing between you and God is a living, loving relationship you can choose to walk away. Because this thing between you and God is a living, loving relationship, He loves you so much He’ll let you go.
No. Sit there and think about that. There’s no passage of Scripture so awesomely ginormous in its impact on your body, mind and spirit.
God has pledged Himself that He absolutely will NOT ever walk away from you. God has pledged Himself that nobody, no thing has the ability to yank you away from Him. Period. And He’s equally pledged Himself that if, despite His breathtaking love for you, you decide to spit in His hand and walk away He loves you so intensely He’ll honor your choice.
“So. . . you’re saying this all depends on me? I decide and God goes with that?”
I’m saying that’s what He’s saying. Always has and always will. From God’s point of view your relationship with Him is good forever. That’s what He’d prefer, what He gave of Himself through Christ to enable. God wants you and Him to be an eternity deal. Perfect love, though, leaves the ultimate choice whether you receive that or reject it in one place only: your hands and heart.
“Okay. Um, seems to me that takes some powerful love to lay it all out there, to leave it on the field so to speak, knowing all the time the other person can turn their back and boogie.”
“M’kay. I got me some thinking to do about this. Suddenly I’m not so casual about this thing between God and me.”
Beginning the un-uglifying process, perhaps?
“Oh, yeah. Definitely. One question, though.”
“God doesn’t really have pockets, does He?”
Okay. I can see it’s time for me to tell you what I was laughing about at the start. See, I got to thinking about death and dying, Heaven and eternity. Stuff like that. Somehow my humorous button got punched too many times.
See, when I die I’m considering having them put my remains in a spring-loaded casket filled with confetti. That way, in the future some young grad-student archaeologist is gonna have one WHALE of a paper to write.
Just as soon as he changes.
© D. Dean Boone, January 2014