I know someone who is super religious. And they’ve centered almost their entire life around converting one of their children. And their grandchildren. They’d say they want their child and grandchildren to be with them in heaven someday. To have them spared from the fires of eternal damnation. Which to them means God’s barbeque in a never-ending literal fire.

And I called this person out on how far I thought they had gone with their child. And I don’t know exactly why, as they refuse to communicate about many things. But my guess is that they have rejected me at least in part because I called them out. Mind you, in response to them calling me out. Or rather, back. To religion. Apparently I am no longer worthy to be associated with now because of my refusal to submit to the people they deem religious authorities.

I was thinking about that today. About how this person, who spends so much time in the Bible, doesn’t really trust God. Not really. With her kids and grandkids. She has made it her mission in life to do God’s job in theirs.

Completely understandable feelings. To want the best for your children and grandchildren.

But what if God is dealing with YOU now?

I’ve learned the hard way. I was a total A-type. Give me a job and I’ll get it done. Just figure out the formula, right? Then apply copious amounts of effort. Problem solved. World peace. And everything else. Eh?

Yeah, until God resists you. The proud. Not in the condemning sense. Just as it pertains to self-sufficiency. Never as punishment. Only for healing. For YOUR freedom.

Maybe, just maybe, your kids and grandkids would be attracted to this God you talk about so much. If they saw you living a happier life than the alternatives offered to them by the unchurched.

But if they see you in misery every day. Slaving away in your martyrdom. Resentful at the their lack of submission. At their audacity to go out and try to find some relief in the midst of so much suffering. Or at their attempts to genuinely express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns. When the choice of their expression doesn’t conform to the rules of your religion. To your comfort. If that’s all they see, then maybe you’re actually in the way? Could God be actively resisting your efforts to convert them to that? For their benefit – and ultimately also, yours. Because if they converted to that then there would be even less of an incentive for you to question whether you are settling for so much less than all God has for you.

But I can’t change you with my words. Not at all. I’ve tried that until I had nothing left. Until my heart was completely broken.

So the same applies to me. Do I really trust God with you? Really? All of you? Do I trust God to bring you back to me if that’s what is best? I don’t have to like how things are. How they turned out. But do I trust God? Implicitly? With everything that is happening? With every person? And maybe more importantly, with my heart?

“But You let me down before, Lord!” Say it with all the anger you’ve been holding back! See if Trinity can handle it. Handle you. I assure You They can. I’m living proof. I hope my words will at least show that.

But really, this is the impasse. This is where you are stuck. Or at least I was. And sometimes, actually quite often still can be. Because every day there seems to be something new. Another temptation to say, “You don’t really care about me, God.” And yet, EVERY SINGLE TIME, Spirit speaks to me when I take ALL this to Them. Every single time. And that’s the only way. Especially when things don’t make sense.

This is relationship. You’re not going to hear some things from the pulpit. Or a book. Or even in your estimation, THE book. You need to hear things directly from God to your heart. God is concerned about YOU. I think I’m safe in saying to a much greater extent than any intellectual attainment. Spiritual or otherwise.

I wish my friend would just stop. Just throw up her hands and yell and scream at God. Tell God how unfair all of this feels. How much she maybe even hates God for not doing what she in her heart knows God could do. Regardless of all the mental gymnastics used to explain away His not doing so.

But I can’t do that for anyone no matter how much I’d like to. But I can tell God how much I wish they would. And that He would bring them to that point. Soon. So I can have my loved ones back. All of them.

Until then, my own healing is continually front and center. Do I trust God with even myself?

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