Posted on Friday, March 5, 2010 in Uncategorized
Angry, depressed and lonely describes most of my teen years. If I had given up as a teen I would never have known most of you. I would never have come out of the basement. I would never have come to enjoy my parents, made lifelong friends, found hope or gotten to know God.
I felt so unworthy. Ever felt that way? I was smart but “stupid”. I was gifted but misguided. In my anger and angst I would make foolish and hurtful decisions. Those decisions would make my life harder. Leading, of course, to more anger and angst. Building one upon the other anger became bitterness and angst became depression.
In the deepest part of me I would ask God to forgive me knowing I’d done something wrong, but I did little more. What little faith I had was mostly cause and effect: if I got caught I didn’t like the consequences: “I’m sorry” I might have said, but it meant little.
“Love” Was Not Enough
I believed that God loved me — “For God so loved the world…” — but it never went deeper than that.
Paul Benware once wrote, “If we are love God and fear Him, we must discover what He disclosed about Himself…One truth without the other leads to a distorted view of God and eventually produces wrong attitudes and actions.”
Once God finally got my attention I have been on a wonderful journey ever since to discover how I can both love and fear God at the same time. To love God is to appreciate who God is. To fear God is to appreciate who I am, who you are, and that we are not God.
God is our Creator. We are the created. God can be ignored, but never fired.
God inspired a song-writer to capture God’s character in an ancient song. This song known as Psalm 103 joins the concepts of fearing God and loving God beautifully.
The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.
Our days on earth are like grass;
like wildflowers, we bloom and die.
The wind blows, and we are gone—
as though we had never been here.
But the love of the Lord remains forever
with those who fear him.
His salvation extends to the children’s children
of those who are faithful to his covenant,
of those who obey his commandments!
God loves us with caring support — compassion, mercy, and patience.
God leads us with high expectations despite our propensity to forget, reject or ignore God’s rules and role as the Creator.