Posted 06 Nov 2013
Yesterday I got into a right stew about the Bible Cartoons website! I discovered that the reason I haven’t had any sales lately was because the shopping cart on the website was broken…
My frustration level went from DefCon 5 to 4.
I read some articles on the PayPal website, which just confused me…
My frustration level went from DefCon 4 to 3.
I purchased a piece of software that promised to resolve the issue; I altered it to make it specific for Bible Cartoons, uploaded it & it made no difference…
My frustration level went from DefCon 3 to 2.
I prayed; I read some more; I tried to be reasonable; I tried to remain calm & to be philosophical about the issues, but nothing worked…
My frustration level went from DefCon 2 to 1.
Then I ranted at God saying “If you loved me you’d fix this!”
Doubting God’s love & goodness – an annual event?!
I’ve just been looking through last years journal & I came across an entry from 17/November/2012 outlining a very similar event in the life of the Bible Cartoons website, & a VERY similar “If you loved me you’d fix this!” response in me – unfortunately! It is nearly one year ago, to the day, that I was frustrated & doubting the love of God for me & my life… I even wondered if this could be an annual event!!!
It was interesting reading because I recorded God’s intervention & assistance, some days later. There was even a daily devotional entry in Word for Today entitled “Imagine being adopted by God!” which was very helpful at the time. The sentence that REALLY grabbed my attention was this one: “You don’t earn the Spirit of adoption, you receive it by faith. That’s important, because if you can’t gain it by your stellar efforts, YOU CAN’T LOOSE IT THROUGH YOUR POOR PERFORMANCE. How reassuring!” [emboldened by MY for emphasis]
If you love me.
“IF you love me…” is an old question. It’s a VERY old question. In fact it’s probably the first question. In Genesis chapter 3 the serpent (aka Satan, the Devil) casts doubt about God’s love in Adam & Eve’s minds by asking the question “Did God really say…?”  Satan’s tactic then was to CAST DOUBT in the minds of Adam & Eve about God’s love & goodness towards them. He knew that if he could get them to doubt God, then they would eat fruit from the tree & suffer the consequences.
The serpent was planting the idea in Adam & Eve’s minds that God WAS HOLDING OUT ON THEM. And they believed that. That’s why they ate the fruit. That’s why sin entered the world.
It’s interesting to note that when I was at my lowest ebb yesterday, deeply frustrated by the Bible Cartoons website & unable to fix the problem, it was THEN that the thought occurred to me “If you loved me you’d fix this!” In other words, Satan (the accuser of the brethren) had dropped the thought into my mind that God WAS HOLDING OUT ON ME. And I believed it. Satan’s tactics are the SAME as they were thousands of years ago, in the garden of Eden.
Since this outburst against God I have calmed down (back to DefCon 5!) & realised what was going on yesterday. I have repented of my outburst & asked for God’s forgiveness about doubting Him & His purposes in my life. I have received God’s forgiveness.
I have also realised that God ALLOWS these frustrating events to happen in my life for a purpose. It is not that He is being mean to me! It is not that He wants to put hoops up for me to jump through! He is not being deliberately difficult, or withholding his love &/or power from me.
So, why does God allow me to experience frustrating events? I believe it is in order to show me that I have some old thought patterns (doubts & unbelief) deep down inside my mind, & which now need to surface, in order that they can be EXAMINED, EVALUATED & RESOLVED. If that happens then these doubts & unbeliefs will loose their power to frustrate me, & ultimately Satan will loose his ability to cast doubt into my mind about the goodness of God. Once these doubts & unbeliefs are resolved then no longer will Satan’s thought “Did God really say…?” have any power over me. I will simply be able to say “Get out of here, I KNOW God loves me & wants the best for me!” & that will be that! No more DefCon1 verbal explosions at God thank you very much!
The process of UNCOVERING, EXAMINING, EVALUATING & RESOLVING my doubts about God’s love for me may take some time… quite a bit of time I suspect! I can be quite a stubborn persona after all! But God is very patient. I’ve had these doubts about the love of God for me for a very long time; most of my life in fact; they are deep-rooted… & these roots need pulling up!
Last night I referred to my doubts about the love of God as “DARK POTATOES IN THE SOIL OF MY LIFE” which seems quite an apt description. I think God allows me to experience frustration in life in order to “dig up” these doubts. The frustration of life actually causes these doubts to resurface in my mind. Of course, digging them up EXPOSES them to the light, which is rather painful for me! Nevertheless, I can see that God needs to uncover these “dark potatoes of doubt”, or else they will simply remain “in the soil of my life”, deeply buried & unresolved. Then, the next time I am frustrated by life they will re-emerge & plague me again, & again, & again.
God loves me FAR TOO MUCH to allow me to have deeply poisonous doubts & unbeliefs buried deep in my mind. He knows that, sooner or later, these “dark potatoes” will emerge to hurt my relationship with Him once more. All it takes is sufficient stress & frustration, then the “dark potatoes” of doubt about God’s love for me emerge again. And at that point Satan is effective at pointing to these deeply held (wrong) beliefs & accuses God TO ME, saying “God’s holding out on you again” & “God obviously doesn’t love you, or else he would fix that problem”, etc.
But this time I think Satan has “tipped his hand” a bit too much, because I’ve noticed his tactics & realised what is going on in my mind. At the same time I believe God is allowing me to experience these doubts & unbeliefs about his goodness in order that I finally UNCOVER, EXAMINE, EVALUATE & RESOLVE them.
As I said, I think the process of recovery may be a long one, but at least I’m ON the road to recovery! God is very, VERY patient with me, & sooner or later these nagging doubts about God’s love WILL be resolved. I look forward to that day.
If you’ve got any similar stories, please do write & let me know.
Genesis 3:1-7 (NLT)
The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”
“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”
“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.
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