“We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis.”
My wild and wonderful son ran full speed into the door frame. He hit his eye and shrieked in pain laying crumpled in a heap on the floor. I ran and held him close and whispered, “I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” and kissed his eye and hugged him tight. When he calmed down a little, he looked up and said, ” Why are you sorry mummy? It’s not your fault.” I smiled and said, “I know, but I feel sorry. I didn’t cause the pain but I feel sorry and wish it hadn’t happened.”
It struck me that this is how God feels as a loving Father, he is sorry for the suffering we have to endure here on earth. Even though he doesn’t cause it, it breaks his heart to see us suffer and he wants to hold us tight when we are hurting.
I think the biggest question in all of history is not- is God real? The biggest question is- is God good?
I’ve pretty much believed in the existence of God all my life, but I’ve not always believed in the goodness of God. Sure I have said he is good a thousand times and never have I thought him a tyrant, but I have without realising it thought that because bad things happen and he has the power to stop them then it must be his will. I have somehow morphed him into a God who loves us but sometimes he stands back, arms folded and watches us suffer because we need to learn from the trial. Many people might nod their head and agree with this, but over the last few years and especially in recent days I have come to realise that this is a distorted view of my loving Father. In fact it’s a dangerous view of God because when I think like this I shut the door to intimacy with him and it’s in his affection that I find the joy and peace that I need to endure the trial in the first place.
God is a good, good Father and it breaks his heart to see the world suffer. It breaks his heart to see his children sick, it killed him (literally on the cross) when we fight each-other, wage war and suffer horrendous trials that come in too many different forms to count.
When we believe the lie that he’s letting the trial happen to teach us a lesson we shun the very spirit that is there to redeem us from the trial. We shun the very promise that he works all things together for good. If we let him, he morphs everything dark into something bright and beautiful. And in that redemption we simply have the benefit of being refined in the fire, morphed into something beautiful. Out of the ashes we come out stronger, wiser and more beautiful than before because that is the grace of God working everything for good. But, never should we think that it was his will to begin with, that he planned the trial on purpose. Yes of course he knew that we would hit the trial before it happened but this doesn’t mean to say he wanted this. Instead, thankfully by his amazing grace he is able to prepare our hearts for the suffering coming our way and he is ready to equip us with what we need yet he is so painfully sorry about what we will encounter.
If my precious son had not hit his eye I would not have sown love and grace into him in that particular moment, and those seeds sown into his heart in turn will lead him to reach out to someone else in need one day. Every seed of love sown has a knock on effect. The butterfly effect. A beautiful metamorphosis is taking place. But, this doesn’t mean to say I am glad he hurt himself in the first place. That is ludicrous. And so it is with our loving Father. He isn’t glad when tragedy strikes, it isn’t some twisted plan to make us stronger… but out of every accident, every mistake, every suffering, he is there with open arms ready to hold us tight, kiss our wounds, give us strength and morph us into something beautiful.