As stated in my last post, my theology sadly lacked throughout most of my life.
I gave my heart to Jesus as a little kid. I was so relieved to find someone who loved me!
During my teen years, I learned that He had a wonderful plan for my life…
…so long as I followed the rules.
I married a fellow I met at Bible college. If anything was going to get God’s favor, I thought, that would surely fit the bill.
The marriage was doomed to failure from the beginning. The poor guy couldn’t “be Jesus” for me. That’s what I wanted, a savior.
After a couple of failed suicide attempts, I “knew” for sure that no one loved me…even God didn’t want me.
And that was my perception of God for the next two and a half decades.
Sorry that He’d ever created me.
During my mom’s short illness and then death, though, God was so close I could almost hear Him breathe.
He wrapped me in Comfort, and supported me like never before.
He DID love me!
In all my ‘figuring’ about life and God and stuff, I’d failed to understand the importance of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil which God placed in the Garden of Eden.
To me it was the most unloving thing He ever did. Why put a tree there that could cause separation between man and Himself?
The answer is surprising.
Freedom to choose.
We weren’t locked into a relationship with God, with no choice to do anything else.
He gave man a chance to decide for himself whom he would love and serve.
We know the rest of the story.
It lives out all around us today.
Every day people choose to do their own thing…
These things involve relationships…people.
A look at the Ten Commandments will reveal that every one of them has to do with relationship…
When we choose to live independent of God’s laws, people get hurt.
The things that have caused me the most pain in my life have been people.
People who lived outside God’s stated guidelines for how life works best for everyone concerned.
Yes, He could step in and “take ’em out.” The weird thing is that He loves them, too.
He is not willing that any should perish.
He wants us all.
And so He gives every man, woman, and child the freedom to choose.
Then, cleans up the messes they make when they reject Him and His ways.
He’s cleaned up many of the wounds left in me by other humans (and continues to do so, I might add).
He’s also cleaned up many of the wounds I caused in others (Thank You, Lord!).
Further, by giving the freedom to choose, there is the added benefit when we end up in the mire of our choice and desperate for help. It isn’t until the pain is intense enough that many of us ever considered the need for our Creator.
Guess what? Some of the ugliest stuff in my story is now the platform from which I can testify of the goodness of God…
…a platform I would not otherwise have.
(Ever had someone who’s never “been there, done that, and bought all the souvenirs” try to counsel you through a tough time? They may speak truth, but it’s hard to ‘connect’ with them; they have no experience in the matter, only theory.)
God never wastes anything!
I don’t have this ‘all figured out’ by a long shot. I’m mostly thinking out loud. If this post sounds like a ramble, that’s because it is!
The bottom line, I guess, is that I like the freedom to choose how I’m going to live life. If I can have this, then others must be allowed to do the same…even if their choice is to commit evil against others.
I suppose at the end of the day, God can still be blamed. After all, He did plant that tree in the garden. He wasn’t content to have a relationship with us simply because we had no other option.
It’s only when love can choose that it is love at all.
Sadly, that means the freedom to choose Satan’s will and way, if that’s what they really want.
God, being no respecter of persons, is very “black-and-white” in this regard:
Freedom for none,
or freedom for all.