Sunday, April 5, 2009

"I Was Wrong."


Two whole months!

I'm sorry folks. I have no excuse, except that I am having a hard time fitting all my "not day job" stuff around my new schedule. Which, oddly, (or perhaps not so oddly) is not a day schedule but a night (graveyard) schedule.

Why? It seemed a good idea at the time.

And I'm going to 'wimp out' a little here. I don't usually steal from myself this way for this blog. The original intention was the other way around. Nor do I usually put forth an overtly Christian message here. What follows just seemed to need to be said.

Take it with a grain of salt, or an entire salt lick, if you like.

Dear C___,

We met a few times (very few) a long time ago, when you and your sister were quite young. This is by way of introduction.

You say that God hates you, listing all of your problems. I understand how you feel. For years I was sure God hated me, too.

And I had plenty of evidence. I'll skip my early life and pick up when I was about eighteen, when my mom divorced my step-dad. I was mad as hell. That I didn't fly totally off the handle and do something stupid that night (get roaring drunk, etc.) was amazing.

A few years later I married a wonderful woman (whom you've also met). Within months she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Then, a year after that, my Mom died of a heart attack.

That's when I became very angry at God, and was convinced that He hated me. So I hated Him right back. For ten, fifteen, nearly twenty years I've been angry at God for giving my wife cancer, and for killing my Mom. I still have the habit, and I fight it every day.

Now I don't tell you this to try to "one-up" you. Rather, I want to let you know I thought I had reason to think the way I did.

And now I need to tell you this: I was wrong.

My mom died from her own life-style, which included smoking a pack of Winstons a day, until she had her own cancer. She tried quitting, but never quite managed to. My wife's cancer was due to some environmental factor we still don't know about. My mom's divorce was because she was one of two people couldn't really find that spot where they were hitched together like a team of horses pulling the cart of marriage in the same direction.

More than that, I was wrong because God never gives us more than we can handle, at least if we have His help. He wants us to ... Well, I was going to say "Call on Him in times of trouble." That is true, He does. But He would rather we be listening to Him before then, and avoid some of the problems in the first place. I could give you some examples of them, but why bore you, you've undoubtedly heard it before.

In the case of my wife's cancer, I can truly say, there is nothing we could have done to avoid it. That's when we needed to "get through it."

My wife trusted God much more than I did. She did have her scared, and sometimes angry moments. I just have trouble remembering them.

Whereas I walked through my life back then with a chip on my shoulder the size of the General Sherman redwood. I still have that habit. My wife can tell you about that. She is usually too kind to do so unless there's a lesson to be learned. I hate to say that I can be a very good bad example.

God is in control. By that statement you might assume He wanted you to break your wrist, or to hurt yourself snowboarding, or to have the other problems in your life. He does allow these things. He expects you to learn something. What is He wanting you to learn?

Remember something about that: God had the people of Israel wander in the desert for forty (40!) years before entering the promised land, because of their lack of desire to learn and understand. This for a trip that could take a determined person on foot as little as forty DAYS! Is it any wonder that we sometimes seem stuck in the same spot? I've sometimes said to myself: What am I supposed to learn with this uncomfortable situation? Let me learn it quickly, so I can move on to something else! Sometimes, I even do.

C____, I may have gotten off track a bit, but my point is, God does love you. He wants you to learn from what has happened in your life. I want you to understand this: God did not spare His own Son, but placed Him in the path of our punishment for sin. That punishment is the eternal death. Please don't misunderstand, it's not eternal nothingness, which is bad enough, but the punishment that a just and angry God is reserving for His rebellious angels. You don't want to be there. The only way to avoid it is by accepting the gift of God's Son, the price He paid for your sin on the cross.

If he was just another man on a cross, there would be no point. But to prove that he was who he said he was, God raised him from the dead three days later.

If that hadn't happened, this whole Christianity business would never have gotten off the ground. We could well be sacrificing bulls to Zeus, or grain to Demeter. That this Christianity thing DID take off, says something.

It says there's something real about it. Nothing would change eleven scared men hiding out from what they thought was an eventual and certain doom into eleven men willing to face physical torture, persecution and death than an absolute certainty that this Jesus character was alive again. If you know of anything, please tell me.

Well, I've rambled on far too long, so I'll close.

Take Care of that Wrist and
God Bless,

Dana H.

That's it. I guess you could call it my testimony. Compared to some I've heard, I wish it was better, but, it is what it is.

Perhaps it also lets you inside this madman's head a little.

The theme of this blog is: "Yes You Can."

Whatever you do, you can get through your life, even if you do need help sometimes.

Yes, you can!

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