When we try hard to discern God’s will and then proceed with what we perceive as his guidance only to meet with failure, we understandably get lost in confusion. We wonder: “What happened? Why didn’t this work out? I was following God. I was trusting God. And he led me into disaster! But this is not God’s nature; perhaps I’m projecting onto him what a human has done to misguide me. Or is it my fault? Did I misinterpret his guidance?” More confusion.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)
In the previous chapter, I shared the story of how Ralph and I built our house despite many obstacles. But there was one more coming straight at us, unexpected, devastating. It hit us just days before the closing date for the new house, just a couple of days before moving in. Ralph got laid off from work.
Huh? How could that happen? Where was God’s protection? I don’t understand. The timing couldn’t be worse.
The bank’s loan officer asked for proof of Ralph’s employment right after he lost the job. God could have made him ask beforehand, so why didn’t he? Now the loan officer found out about the loss of income, and the bank would not grant us a mortgage. Then we’d be stuck with a big construction loan and no house for it.
It looked like Father God was standing in the doorway of our new house, arms crossed, like a big, bully bouncer at a night club, telling us, “No, you can’t get in.” And it felt like God was towering over Ralph saying, “No, you can’t have this job anymore.” And there was no changing his mind. No way for Ralph to get his job back, no way to find a new job in time to save the house.
Sometimes we misinterpret the sternness of the Father as meanness. Like he’s a bully and he’s scowling at us no matter how well we behave. This happens because, when we were children, our human parents seemed very mean to us when in firm sternness they rightfully disciplined us. In truth, Abba-Father’s sternness comes from his authority, and like any king, what he says from his position of authority is what matters. It is not open for debate.
However, it’s also true that Abba-Father, unlike many human parents, actually delights in us when we question him. This is appropriate in a healthy father-child relationship as long as the child is not questioning his authority but genuinely wants to learn and the parent has time and patience for it.
Day 9 on the journey includes:
- The origins of our confusion
- Why does God allow us to get confused?
- Journey from confusion to blessings
- The cure for confusion
© 2021 by Terry A. Modica