Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Finger on the Smite Button...

(photo from www.livejournal.com)
I saw a "Farside" cartoon years ago, (Gary Larson is a genuis, just saying) and in this cartoon God is sitting at God's computer watching the screen. On the monitor, there is some poor sap who is walking down the sidewalk, and just as he walks under a piano hanging from a rope, God's finger hovers over the "smite" button.

Now, tell me if I'm lying, but I almost guarantee that most of us have felt, at one time or another, that God is watching us on some divine computer monitor, just waiting to press the "smite" button. Murphy's Law hits us on every side, if something can go wrong it will, and we feel as if God is toying with us in some cat and mouse game. I don't think that God does that on purpose, but it sure feels that way sometimes.

All some folks want is a little break, and I don't blame them. You can only tread water so long, and when life hands you one blow after another, we want someone to blame. One of my favorite scenes in "Night at the Museum" is when Jedediah and the boys have Larry tied to the train track and Jed says, "Somebody's gotta pay!" When Larry asks, "Pay for what?" Jed says, "I don't know, just pay!"

Tell me we don't feel like that sometimes. Life has gone to hell in a handbasket and we need someone to take the rap for it. Why not God? God can handle it. Hosea 6, this morning, seems to back up the idea that God has us in the divine crosshairs and is just waiting to wipe us out, so why not God?

Here is what it says: "Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces, but he will heal us; he has injured us, but he will bind up our wounds." I know folks who feel exactly that way. Whatever has happened to them, at least the bad stuff, God did it. They feel as if God is watching and just waiting to smite them. But that's not all Hosea says.

He does say God has injured them, and I don't have a quick answer for that, but then he says that God will bind up our wounds, and that he has torn us to pieces but he will heal us." I know this could open a Pandora's box of questions that folk have been asking for years, and honestly, I don't have the answers. I do know, though, that God is not watching us on some divine computer screen just waiting for the right moment to smite us.

So, what do we do with this? How about giving God a second chance? What if we tried, for a few minutes, to forget the idea that God has it out for us, and focus instead, on the fact that God wants to heal us and bind up our wounds? I'm not saying everything will be instantly better, reality is, it probably won't...for a little while. But as we learn to do this, to allow the healing to take place, peace begins to take the place of anger, and little by little healing takes place.

I've been there, and I know what it's like. I don't know exactly what you're going through, but my family has been through our own personal hell over the years. I was a very angry man, mainly because I had no control of the situation. I cried out, I shook my fist at God, and I wanted some answers. They eventually came, but not in the form I was looking for. Now, God and I have reconnected and that is what Hosea was asking for in the first place.

So, give it a shot. I won't intentionally lead you wrong. There will be some pain as you wrestle the underlying issues, but I promise that God does not what to smite you, but to welcome you back home.


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