I have to confess something; I sometimes think that God doesn’t care.
I am not among the people who hear God’s audible voice, and sometimes I find myself screaming WHERE ARE YOU up into the sky (as if God is sitting on a cloud or something laughing at me.) But I also know God IS there and that He does want a relationship with me. I just sometimes I only know that in my head instead of in my heart.
Christians spend a lot of time and heartache comparing our experiences, and I think we start to assume God loves other people more. God speaks out loud to that girl… He must love her more. That guy says God gave him his dream job… God loves him more than me. God came down in a pillar of fire or something at that lady’s church… clearly God does not love me at all.
It doesn’t offend God that we feel that way, but it must be frustrating to love someone so much and have them say WHY DON’T YOU LOVE ME because they don’t understand you. I’m glad God is a patient kind of guy.
A few days ago, I found myself in one of my toddler moments. I was getting ready for the day, doing my hair (for once), and just going to town with complaints. Here’s a little picture of what God had to listen to me whine about:
I just don’t understand why we are even doing this if it’s all for people we already know and if the only people who read my blog are my mom and her friends then what the heck is the point of this clearly we are doing something wrong because we don’t have the audience I thought we would have and we can’t grow our viewership and our videos are always late and my blogs are always boring and honestly I feel like this was probably a huge waste and we aren’t even doing anything important and we haven’t figured out how to bring in non camp people and we probably never will because nothing we do is good enough and NO ONE LIKES US ANYWAY
And then I just about dropped my curling iron because my brain immediately had the crystal clear thought, “It doesn’t matter if they like you. It matters if they like Me.”
There aren’t many people in my life who can leave me speechless, but it turns out Jesus is one of them. What was I supposed to say to that? I grumbled a little something like “well yeah obviously” and stomped off (you know, like an adult.)
As it turns out, Jesus wasn’t done with me yet.
That morning we got to sit in on staff chapel. Each week at Forest Home, one of the staff members leads a devotion message and time of prayer. This week’s message just happened to be about Job. He talked about all the crap that Job went through and how he remained “blameless and upright.” He talked about what I like to refer to as “the pity party of Job,” when he wept for the day he was born. He talked about Job’s friend Elihu and his wise counsel. And then he talked about what God had to say to Job.
This is one of those times in the Bible when you read what God said and can’t help but think “oh snap.” God LAYS IT OUT. He basically asks Job “who the heck do you think you are?” Properly, “who is this that obscures my plans with words without knowledge?” (Job 38:2) God makes it clear just how little Job really knows.
BUT JOB IS A GOOD GUY! He’s upright! He’s blameless! WHAT THE HECK?
Job could go on and on about how he had done nothing wrong and he loved/feared God and lived his life to honor God. Cool, Job. That’s nice. It would be great if more people did that. But Job didn’t trust God. He thought he knew exactly how things should be happening according to his own knowledge. He thought he knew God’s motives and why things happen the way they do. And even though he never cursed God, he cursed himself over and over again. As the one who loved Job so much and had faith in him to prove the enemy wrong… well, I’m sure God was a little disappointed.
I am Job.
I try my best to be a good person. I love God. I follow Him. I’m willing to give my life to serve Him. I’ll move into a camper and do a lot of things that make me anxious and uncomfortable and say out loud that I am doing exactly what God wants me to do. But I don’t trust His plan. I think I know how this is supposed to go and what it should look like. I know that if we are “failing,” it means God is angry with us and hates what we are doing. Silly Job.
I’m so grateful that we serve a God who “ever so gently” reminds us that we are not in control. I needed to be reminded that in everything I do, my purpose is to love Jesus, follow Him, and show others His love through my life. That’s it. It doesn’t matter how many subscribers we have or whether we radically change the world of camping ministry (not that we really plan to.) All that matters is that in all that we do, we live the way Jesus called us to and love the people we meet really well.
Because it doesn’t matter if they like me; it matters that He loves them.