If I Was God
To me, the greatest surprise in life is that God continues to show up. You’d think the way the world treats Him, He’d give up on the human race. You’d think He’d get disgusted and leave us to our own demise. But He doesn’t; what does He do? He keeps on showing up.
Skeptics dismiss Him; atheists deny Him and His own children often doubt Him. Our lack of faith is a slap in God’s face, yet He shows up anyway. Does He sometimes turn the other cheek? Perhaps so.
Consider God’s amazing patience. He kept His promise to the Israelites through forty years of their unbelief and disobedience.
What about the Dark Ages? The History Channel called the period following the fall of the Roman Empire “600 years of degenerate, godless, inhuman behavior.” However, God was working backstage to overcome the darkness. His message of love and forgiveness prevailed and continues to shed light into men’s souls today.
I remember well the God is Dead movement of the 60’s. Where was God? In the wings building His work force. At the time, my husband and I were a part of a spiritual awakening that swept across every strata of America. The truth of God’s love took root among hippies, in families like ours, on college campuses and in the corporate world. When God showed up, the God is Dead movement imploded. To those who knew Him personally, God had once again proved Himself very much alive.
What about today? I believe we’re living in the God is Irrelevant era. He’s rejected by some, ridiculed by many and ignored by others. On television, we’re bombarded with the bald-faced mockery of God and those who believe in Him. It’s not only appalling; it’s very sad.
If I was God, I wouldn’t take the ridicule and rejection. I would show up center stage in all my glory for all to see. And I’d have my say once and for all. Instead, what does God do while the world is on stage raging against Him? The Maestro ascends from the orchestra pit and moves across the audience revealing Himself to all who’ll listen to His music.
II Peter 3:9 gives us the reason God is so patient. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise” because He wants “everyone to come to repentance.” How could such a tender-hearted God have such thick skin?
There’s only one viable answer. He loves the world with a passion it doesn’t deserve or understand. If it understood, the whole universe would line up to welcome Him into its presence. Instead, one by one, God opens our eyes to see and our hearts to respond. And then, one by one, He transforms our desires and our reason for living.
When does God show up for us? He shows up in our moments of joy. And He shows up in our darkest hours. He shows up in the roar of life’s challenges. And He shows up in the silence of our despair.
Some may think God is dead, irrelevant or non-existent. Yet, we can know the God of hope is alive. How?
Because Hope showed up! Born in a cowshed, Hope “grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man.” (Luke 2:52) Hope saw our sin and hopelessness. And for the joy set before Him, Hope went to the cross, and died in our place.
When Hope died, the world grew as dark physically as it was spiritually. But three days later, Hope resurrected with a plan to spread the news that He is indeed alive.
When Hope left to join His Father in heaven, He provided His Spirit to live in our hearts. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” Romans 5:5
The Bible promises Hope will again show up in the flesh. One day, He will appear in all His glory on center stage for all to see. Then Hope will gather His own to live with Him in eternity.
When Hope shows up, will you and I be ready? If we embrace His promise and His life in our hearts, we don’t have to hope so. We can know so!
“And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” I John 5:11-13