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Does God Like Me? Rerun

Posted by admin in February 13th, 2009
Published in Uncategorized

Sorry folks, here’s another rerun. Still focusing on the book. Here’s the blog I mentioned in The Love Shack posting. This might explain why I loved Young’s ideas so much. For those of you who follow Christ with a complete awareness of and security in God’s Abba Love, it doesn’t make much sense (Big D, BFF Margo). But here’s why The Shack ministered to me so powerfully. Thanks for taking time to read my blogs. It’s humbling to see that it is read.

All my life I have lived with a strong sense that God is always angry with me. I mean, mad at me. You know: ticked off. I struggled even being a Christian for the first half of my life. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in God–I did. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe in the Bible–I did. It wasn’t that I didn’t love God–I did. It was just so hard to appease the God; to find favor with Him. At 21, I was blessed to have an incredible, supernatural experience with the Holy Spirit that changed my life forever. (And my family’s life as well). Call it what you want–Baptism of the Holy Spirit, Sanctification, being “Tim LaHaye” filled with the Spirit–all I know was that once I was blind and now I see. Through that experience I was able to believe that Jesus loved me. Jesus, my Savior, my King, my Beautiful Elder Brother, my Lord, my High Priest, my Advocate really loved me. No doubts. But God, well, that was a whole ‘nother matter.

The great theologian Lewis Smedes (1921-2002) in his autobiography My God and I shares how he lived his whole life believing that God was always angry with him. He writes so poignantly about his struggle to accept God’s love. His wife played a major role in his ability to believe in God’s grace. It was through her love for Smedes and her life with him that Smedes accepted “by faith” that God really did love him. She was the evidence in his life that only a loving and accepting God would give him such a gift as her.

Mother Teresa struggled greatly with the idea that God hated her. In the book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light in which her letters are published, she writes, “Lord, my God, who am I that You should forsake me? The child of Your love–and now become as the most hated one–the one You have thrown away as unwanted…unloved. I call, I cling, I want and there is no One to answer–no One on Whom I can cling. No, no One. Alone. The darkness is so dark and I am alone. Unwanted, forsaken. The loneliness of the heart that wants love is unbearable…I trust that all (the pain, the loneliness, the suffering) will end in Heaven with Jesus” (p. 187). The book states that Mother Teresa suffered this pain and rejection from 1948 until her death in 1997. She loved. She smiled. She ministered. She served. She spoke with fervent passion and conviction and all the while she suffered with this feeling of isolation and rejection from her Heavenly Father. That to me seems like a tremendous weight to bear.

Of course, I can’t leave out St. John of the Cross. You know, the 16th century Spanish priest who wrote The Dark Night of the Soul? St. John of the Cross explained the dark night as a time when prayer is extremely difficult; a sense that God has abandoned the Believer. But he said that it was a blessing in disguise teaching the follower of Christ to walk by faith, not by the senses. SJC believed the dark night of the soul was a type of “purification of the senses.” Though I cannot imagine Mother Teresa needing such a purification.

In my own life the feeling that God is angry at me also manifests itself in the strong sense that God just doesn’t like me. Does it stem from my Mom’s constant proclamation, “I will always love you Teri, but I don’t have to like you”? Did Smedes struggle with father issues in his childhood? Surely not Mother Teresa. I think it is greater and goes deeper than some hidden away psychosomatic issues about childhood and parental mistakes. I think it relates to what CS Lewis calls “the weight of glory.” Some of us, for whatever reasons, struggle with God’s acceptance and love for us. Some of us who follow Christ struggle with a real sense of God’s approval of us. Not because of some sin in our past, or because we don’t feel worthy, but because we are incapable of it. Maybe this is the thorn in the flesh God Himself has chosen for us to bear. Perhaps this is the weight we carry so that we do walk by faith and not by sight. Perhaps this weight keeps us broken and prevents us from straying from the Shepherd.

In CS Lewis’s sermon (June 8, 1942, Church of St. Mary the Virgin, Oxford) titled “The Weight of Glory” he refers to the parable found in Matthew 25. Lewis said, “Glory suggests…approval by God…I saw that this view was scriptural; nothing can eliminate from the parable the divine accolade, ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant’…And that is enough to raise our thoughts to what may happen when the redeemed soul, beyond all hope and nearly beyond belief, learns at last that she has pleased Him Whom she was created to please…With no taint of what we should now call self-approval she will most innocently rejoice in the thing that God has made her to be, and the moment which heals her old inferiority complex for ever…”

I look forward to the day when I see my Heavenly Father and I look upon His face and see perfectly well His love and acceptance of me. My heart is anchored to heaven as a result of the weight I carry knowing that one day in just one moment I will, along with so many others, most innocently rejoice in the thing that God has made me to be and by faith I will hear those words of approval, “Well done thou good and faithful servant…enter into the joy of your Master.” Peace.

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74. bob sparks said,
February 13th, 2009 at 6:07 pm

Hi Big T,

Hope you are making good progress on the book. Glad for this rerun because I missed it the first time around.

This has been one of my big struggles over the years, though I feel in my case it is usually associated with “performance” being the basis of my acceptance/pleasing God rather than who I am in Christ, by grace.

Francis de Sales has ministered to me in this area and as I read your blog,I was thinking of Mother T. before I got the the part of you writing about her.

So far as I can tell, Little C. (like Big D.)doesn’t struggle with this area.

I don’t see Satan behind every bush, however, since I’m convinced that he does seek to influence our mind/thinking, I’d not be surprised if he seeks to facilitate the unworthy mental pictures we have of God and the emotional feelings that flow from these.

Thanks Big T. for ministering to us through sharing your life on the journey with Jesus.

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