That Doesn't Sound Like My God
“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.” (Proverbs 30:5, ESV)
The clank of shattering glass sent her racing from the room. And by the time I stepped on the scene, all that remained of the cup my child had been holding was a puddle of apple juice and a spray of fractured glass.
After cleaning up the mess, I found my youngest daughter crouched between the tall, white dresser and the pale, yellow wall in the corner of her bedroom.
I peered into the shadowed space. “Why are you hiding?”
“Daddy will be mad I broke my big-girl cup,” my 3-year-old replied. I stared at my little girl’s sagging shoulders and tried to formulate a wise reply.
The words “mad” and “dad” rarely belong in the same sentence at our house. My husband’s character is one of gentle presence. He’s slow to raise his voice and quick to offer grace. He is patient and forgiving, good-humored and calm.
But before I could respond, my 3-year-old’s big sister looked up from the book she was reading and giggled. “That doesn’t sound like my daddy!” she declared with a shrug of her slender shoulders.
I gave my older daughter a knowing nod, then spoke to the tear-stained face behind the dresser. “Your daddy cares more about you than that cup. I think he’ll just be glad you didn’t get hurt.”
By the time my husband got home, my daughter’s anxiety had been replaced with relief. And the same feet that had propelled her into hiding carried her right into her daddy’s arms as he walked through the door.
Even if we have never had an earthly father who showed us compassion in a moment of brokenness — or at all — and even if we are not 3 feet tall, when it comes to our relationship with our heavenly Father sometimes we resemble that little girl behind the dresser more than we’d like to admit. I know I do.
I’ve experienced God’s kindness and faithfulness, His mercy and love. Yet when I’m sitting in my own space of disappointment or fear, I’m prone to paint my heavenly Father’s character through the filter of my feelings.
When the circumstances around me are messy and broken, I may adopt the narrative that God isn’t at work in my situation.
When I’m faced with the ache of loss, I may tell myself God doesn’t care.
When my unanswered prayers leave me frustrated and sad, I may assume that God isn’t listening.
It’s in those moments, when my feelings block the truth, that I need a voice to counter my faulty claims. So I open my Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to speak louder than my doubts and clearer than my confusion.
According to Proverbs 30:5, God’s Word isn’t just a refuge for our reeling hearts; it’s also a voice that can be trusted — “Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.”
Like my daughter who challenged her little sister’s misbelief, the story of Scripture gently calls me back to the heart of my heavenly Father. It reminds me who God is and who He will always be.
When I tell myself God doesn’t care, the voice of Scripture declares, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7, NIV).
When I believe He’s stopped working in my circumstances, the voice of Scripture announces, “God makes all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are chosen to be a part of His plan” (Romans 8:28, NLV).
When I suspect God isn’t listening, the voice of Scripture shouts, “But it is sure that God has heard. He has listened to the voice of my prayer” (Psalm 66:19, NLV).
In other words: “That doesn’t sound like my Daddy!”
Friends, this is how we move from the cramped shadows of hiding to the wide expanse of trust! When we are standing in the gap between what we feel in our hearts and what we know of God’s heart, we invite His Word to bridge the distance.
And as we do, we find ourselves longing to know Him more. So go ahead and draw nearer. Because your Father loves you no matter what, and He’s always waiting with open arms.
Dear Jesus, speak to me through Your Spirit and Your Word. Reveal any faulty assumptions I have about my heavenly Father. Help me to know and trust Him more. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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Some days it's easy to wonder: How can so much hurt exist? Why does it feel like the world is on fire? And is there anything I can do about it? And in those moments, it can feel like there’s nothing else you can do to help solve all the problems. But there’s one thing that always makes a difference: prayer. That's why we created a new free resource, “When It Feels Like Nothing Can Help: What To Pray in the Hard Moments,” to help you to pray through Scripture when finding the right words to pray just feels impossible. Click here to download now.
FOR DEEPER STUDY
Exodus 34:6, “Then he passed in front of Moses and called out, ‘I am the LORD God. I am merciful and very patient with my people. I show great love, and I can be trusted.’” (CEV)
As you read your Bible this week, listen to what the Word tells you about God. Don’t know where to start? Read the stories about Jesus. (Hebrews 1:3 reminds us Jesus is the exact expression of His Father’s essence.)
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