“God, could there be something mentally wrong with me?” I prayed aloud one night this week after work.
(This is a true story, I’m afraid.)
Then, my eyes focused on what I had been looking at without realizing it, in my normal glazed over stare from my praying chair.
On closer look, this:
I felt the re-assurance of God’s love, His silent finger on my lips. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
I didn’t turn away intentionally in the direction of my laundry area. But a few minutes later, when another doubt struck, my subconscious gaze was fixed toward my ironing board, not a likely corner for inspiration, right?
“But God,” I pointed out to Him, “I think I might have had the wrong attitude about what happened today! And I can be so psychotic sometimes!” I didn’t mean to argue with the promise I have called you by name you are mine, but it must have sounded like that to God.
I suddenly realized what I was staring at this time.
Messy house and laundry…
I care about you and I made you, and mostly you take yourself too seriously, was the unmistakable message. Rest in my greatness. Look at Me, not at you! Look at the cross, not at you! And don’t just look…See!
The next few days as I processed through hours of voice recordings from my Middle East trip in preparation for book two, I kept running into reminders of God’s individual, fatherly care. I will leave you with two, with the hope that they speak to you as they spoke to me!
One refugee student told the teacher, “Miss, I don’t understand when you tell me this. You have to hit me.”
She said, “No! I won’t hit you! No matter what you do, I’m not going to hit you. I’m only going to speak to you quietly and ask you to behave.”
“It’s because of his father,” she confided to us. “He always comes here with bruises on his hands. So after we talked about the solar system, he comes back to school and he says, ‘Miss, I can’t believe it! My dad said that I’m really, really smart because I told him what you taught us about the solar system’. He was so proud…He was so proud that his father actually complimented him!”
“It’s difficult because of all the violence they’ve been through. You always have to show them love. You always have to show them the love of God, and that’s difficult when you want to discipline a child, and at the same time be very loving to that child. This is a challenge.”
I was in my parents’ home alone. A military airplane was bombarding the neighborhood and the front part of my parents home was partially damaged, but nothing happened to me. After that, I had this dream: ‘Son, I will take care of you’. In the religion I grew up with, you are not God’s children and I wondered, who’s this Lord that spoke to me as if I was his son?” It was a small thing, but I felt God was preparing me.
I found a small tract like a person sharing his testimony saying ‘God loves you’. And to me it was something new from my religion. From the background where I came you are like slaves, you are not God’s children. I liked it and I found his cell phone number and I called the person and he came. It was an American missionary and we sat together and we talked. We talked a lot. I was speaking politics most of the time and he was talking about God. Then he gave me the New Testament. I spent like one day and a half and I read all of it. And I said, ‘I want to follow this Lord. He’s amazing. He’s different than others.”
“Mostly because you found him to be a God of love? Is that the main difference?” I asked.
“Exactly, exactly,” he said. “Because I used to be this person who has to work hard to gain things.”
May you feel the presence of God’s individual love, challenging you to obedience and worship!