Dads do not always know when to stop. Too much of a good thing isn’t. I can remember the day when tickling one of my daughters moved from being funny to something just beyond annoying for her. It took me a while to catch on and then the question became quite simple. How was I going to change our interaction? Something needed to shift. My solution, no terribly elegant, was to negotiate a one-way commitment, pledge, that I not only wasn’t going to tickle her any more but that because I was on her side I was going to protect her from others taking the same action.
When I am honest with my heart I often find myself wondering if God is really on my side. I know this may sounds strange, possibly disrespectful but my doubts reflect my fears based on what I have experienced. How could so many things bad happen to someone committed to a relationship with God? Why should life be as painful, difficult, and problematic as it is? Shouldn’t things get easier when one connects with the Divine? Is God out to get me? Is there a plot underway in which I am the eternal victim? Does God dance a jig with every lash that life gives?
Don’t worry; there isn’t anything new or disastrous in my life. I am not in trouble, at least not that I know of. Life hasn’t thrown anything radically new. I look around and reflect with anger at the poverty, absence of relationship, and impact of disease that permeates life on all levels. Is God a friend or foe?
One who interacted with God directly brought a message to you and me; “All the best to you from the God who is, the God who was, and the God about to arrive.” (Revelation 1.3) God is on our side. God is in the business of restoration and recreation. God is revealing himself to us; evidence and experience is waiting. Will we openly look at what is to come? There is more, much more.