I grew up seeing God as a harsh Judge and never as a loving Father. I knew intellectually that He loved me, but I also believed that He was ready to beat me over the head for every little sin or shortcoming. I lived in terror of Him. Every mistake caused me to fear that I would go to hell or that I wasn't really "saved."
I wish I could go back and tell that scared, little girl a few things:
- You don't have to be perfect to be loved by God or to make a difference in the world.
- God shows incredible compassion and love in the face of our weaknesses, and appreciates it when we are honest with Him about what we're thinking and feeling.
- God is a brilliant strategist and problem-solver (so why try to do it on your own?), and
- God even takes care of "silly" little details like a hot meal and drinks. His nurture and attention to the fine points are unparalleled.
- There are times in life when we want to run away, scared like Elijah, and times when we live life with reckless abandon like Elisha. Accept the season you're in with a sense of awareness and presence.