Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I know a lot about jerks

It's interesting to see the ways
that I often think similarly
about God and men.
Even more interesting to see lately
how often I am wrong about them both.

Two things happened yesterday;
one where I knew
the man I'm dating, (D)
was angry with me,
and where I knew
that the God who loves me
was angry with me.

In the former,
I was fixing my own van
and purposely did not ask for help.
I did what I could on my own
and eventually through several texts
and a phone call where it was determined
I didn't follow instructions properly
got a response to just stop
and he would come look at it.
I felt awful. I should be able
to do this without asking him
to go out of his way to help.
I don't want to need to be rescued.
I was afraid he was angry
and probably would help but
not want to come back over for dinner
because I messed up.

Last weekend, I felt God
call me to prayer and fasting
which I have never
seriously done before.
It was not an easy thing
for me to agree to,
but if God asks, how can I say no?
I was over 40 hours in
and had seen some evidence
that God was moving.
It was really amazing.
But I hadn't received any word
on how long this was supposed to last
and I was starting to get frustrated
with life... (DIY car repairs)
so I asked Him to tell me when it would end
and without waiting for an answer
I opened the fridge
and ate some leftovers.
I felt awful. I should be able
to do this without messing it up.
Good things were happening
and I was afraid God was angry
and was going to stop them
because I messed up.

D came over and helped me
finish fixing the brakes on the van.
He didn't act mad once,
and when we were done
he asked me what we were having for dinner.
He came back over later
and we all had a great time.
Before he left he told me
I had done a great job on the van.
I was confused. What!?!
How is that possible?
How can he be proud of me when I thought he would be angry?

Thinking about this after D left
as well as some other things
that had happened that evening
it occurred to me that even after
I had broken my fast,
the answers to my prayers
were still moving forward.
I was again, confused.
How could this be?
I had given up without His direction.
Is it possible that He too was proud of me for trying, instead of being angry?

A friend had pointed out to me
that, when in doubt, I will always assume
the man I'm with is going to be angry.
I thought I knew a lot about men.
Turns out, I only know a lot about jerks.

Where did I get the idea that God
gets angry when I make mistakes?
When did I decide that His goal
in watching us was to see
the mistakes and hand out punishments?
Somewhere along the way
I've let my knowledge of jerks
color my beliefs about God...

I don't think God is mad that broke the fast. I think He knew it would happen, and didn't tell me how long it would last because I needed to learn this lesson.

I know myself well enough to know I will likely need to learn it again and again, but in the mean time I can definitely come away from the entire experience knowing that good men don't react the way other men do, and God is so much better to me than I give Him credit for, even on a good day.

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