Some years back while carpooling a group of middle schoolers, I saw in my rearview mirror a car barreling towards my van.
I quickly swerved out of his path and watched in horror as he hit the car in front of me and kept on going.
A few miles down that country highway I saw the reckless car stopped by the side of the road, the young driver apprehended by the police.
I remember thanking God for his angels who protected us.
But, I wondered, where were his angels for the lady who was hit?
Did God love us more than he loved her?
A few months ago my dear husband survived a heart attack. Last week my friend’s dear husband’s heart stopped.
Am I tempted to think God loves me more?
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Since my last blog, I have been thinking, how do we know God loves us?
Why is it hard for some people to believe in his love?
How do the experiences of our lives affect our ability to believe in God’s love?
There is mystery here, and individual histories and struggles, but I’m pretty sure we mustn’t measure God’s love by the good or bad things that happen to us.
It is a matter of faith.
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It was almost 10:30 p.m. at the campsite and 5 y.o. Pookie had to go to the bathroom.
We were staying one night in our tent at the campground a quarter mile from our house.
Just her and me.
I’d set up the tent and cots, served her dinner, helped her change clothes after she spilled water on herself, played Old Maid, took her to the little park and watched her swing, put her difficult shoes on probably a dozen times, and read 4 Little Critter bedtime stories, all the while answering her curious non-stop questions.
What a gallant gramma I am ….
Except I’m not.
My neck was killing me, my throat was scratchy, we’d hiked to the bathroom six times already, it was dark, and she said she had to tinkle again.
So down the road we went. After she did her business, she was slowly putting the glitter-silvery soap on every finger, describing why she loved this soap – for the 7th time!— and I said brusquely, “Come on. It’s late. I’m losing my patience.”
She responded innocently, “Gramma, when did you have patience?”
Inwardly I exploded, !#WHAT?%@! Are you blind, deaf and dumb? Haven’t you noticed all this patience I’ve had these last five hours?
Outwardly I glared at her and got sarcastic and we returned to our tent and sleeping bags.
Then Little Pookie began to apologize. “I’m sorry, Gramma, I don’t know what’s wrong, I am ruining our campout. Are you going to take me home? I don’t want to go home. Oh, I’ve ruined everything.”
I was able to assure her that I wasn’t going to take her home, everything was okay, she should try to sleep, which she bravely did, and we had a wonderful morning together the next day.
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Does Pookie believe I love her no matter what? Sadly, maybe not.
Do I believe God loves me no matter what? Sometimes it’s hard.
The Apostle Paul wrote in a letter, “Keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 21.
I want to keep myself in God’s love.
Accepting his mercy is the key.
I don’t deserve his protection, his keeping my husband alive, his patience with my lack of patience.
But God’s love –unlike mine– is full of mercy.
And I shall keep waiting for it.