If God really loved us…

If God really loved us he’d….he’d what? Stop earthquakes? Stop gambling husbands? Stop war lords, arms dealers, corrupt officials, hell threatening religion, chemical laden junk food, greedy rich people, accidents, cancer, birth defects, parasites, drought, or what? I mean, if God really loved us wouldn’t he want to stop everything that hurts us?

On the other hand, there are lots of things we don’t want God to stop too, like the freedom to indulge our appetites, the freedom to use our talents to elevate ourselves, destroy the reputations of people we don’t like, live without consequences for our actions, do whatever feels good, and the freedom to be our own bosses.

To prove his love for us, then, we expect God to do two things for us: He must let us do as we please – and stop us suffering. It’s like the teenager who demands the freedom to party but also expects his parents to pick up the pieces afterwards.

So, what does a loving parent do with such a child? Well, obviously he warns the child that doing as he pleases will hurt, and if the child doesn’t believe that he’ll have to learn the hard way. And what do most kids do? They learn the hard way. And so has most of humanity. We didn’t believe God from the beginning and now we’re all learning the hard way.

So, what do loving parents do when their child is suffering, and mostly from his own stupidity? They probably cry a lot, inwardly or outwardly, or both, because there’s no greater pain than watching your child suffer. But you can’t stop loving him, right? You do whatever it takes to show the child he’s loved. It may mean picking up the pieces for him on occasion, or it may mean letting him suffer to learn a lesson, but either way it’s done in love.

But that’s the love that’s really love. It’s loving a child when he’s at his worst, when he’s being a stubborn, rude, demanding, self-centred rebel, when he shows no love in return, when he lies about his parents, makes a mockery of them to his friends, steals from them, wrecks their property, and turns his brothers and sisters against them. To love a child like that, when there’s nothing in him worth loving, has got to be the ultimate proof of a parent’s love. It’s also God’s (Romans 5:8).

God says he loved us all during the time we didn’t love him, when we did as we pleased and moaned at him for letting us suffer. That’s his proof that he really loves us, but what better proof is there?

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