One thing I do not have to teach my kids to do is fight with each other. It is not that they don’t like each other, it is just that they are siblings. The word sibling, for those who don’t know, actually means “a group of people living in close proximity who are required to get along no more than 33% of the time, less in the summer.” I have found that much of the issues that they have revolve around communication, or lack there of. For one of them it is understood that a particular toy is being used by them, while another looks at the toy and recognizes it as his toy. The bell rings, they enter the ring, and immediately the gloves come off. Then when the referee gets involved they each point at the other as the instigator when both of them have been fully engaged in the process. Of course, no one ever starts it and no one ever says the wrong thing. With so many innocent people, isn’t it amazing that we have conflict?
Thursday morning the kids were having a disagreement about something that is not even important enough for me to remember today. It wasn’t that big of a deal, but my 2-year-old son said something to my 5-year-old. They were having a little battle of wording and my 5-year-old wanted nothing of it. Here’s the conversation (sort of):
5-year-old: God doesn’t like it when you hurt people
2-year-old: Yes, God do
2-year-old: Yes, God do
5-year-old: Mom, he said that God likes it when you kill people
Me- No he didn’t.
5-year-old: Well, it is what he could have said.
I was right there and I know that my 2-year-old son had no idea what he was talking about. He was just saying what would make his brother mad. At the same time, my 5-year-old was trying to make his brother look like some little pagan child. But, neither one was actually accurate in how they portrayed the situation.
In communication, words are filtered through our own bias or attitude and the real content of the message is often lost in the process. I don’t know how many conversations I have had with people who have done this same thing to God. The remedy of reading the Bible is not taken as a serious answer to the questions raised. Then there are the people who just decided that they want to hear what everyone else but God says. The message in Scripture is clear and readily available to us today and it does involve knowing what God says.
“Do you now know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told to you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in.” – Isaiah 40:21-22
“Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, My way is hidden from the LORD; my cause is disregarded by my God? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary and his understanding no one can fathom.” Isaiah 40:27-28
The answer is right in front of us. There is a God and He sits on His throne no matter who decides to acknowledge that. People complain that God allows suffering or God doesn’t end world hunger while never reading about God’s faithfulness, compassion and mercy. There are complaints about how God handled people in the Old Testament while the same people never take time to actually read through it to see how God had every right to end humanity in Eden, but didn’t. Then there was the flood of Noah’s time and countless other times when people walked away from God and He was merciful to them. The concept of holiness and our lack thereof is lost in a political battle of supposed rational thinking about who God really ought to be. God has never changed. He is the same today as He has always been. He still is trustworthy and good despite all the negative press He often gets. When people take the time to actually look at what He has said in His Word, the confusion is set aside with a new and profound trust in the God who knows why and has it all under control. It is not what he could have said, it is what he said that matters. And about you He has expressed His love for you on the cross through the death of His perfect Son, Jesus Christ. There is no other way to interpret that. God said He loved you and He showed it to you through Jesus Christ. It is time to put down the bias and wholeheartedly embrace the God who knows and loves you.