How do you start a thought like this? I know, I will start with a confession, not a bad place to start. I said I was going to do one article a month this year. If you strictly talk about one article per month, I did not do one last month, January the forward and backward looking month. So! I have zero out of two months and have broken a New Year’s resolution, resolutely. As usual, I am knowingly living on grace again, even more day by day!
Now that is off my chest I can talk about teddy bears. Did you ever have a teddy bear? Do you still have that teddy bear? It really does not have to be a teddy bear but just something from your childhood that never left your side. A toy a blanket, adults sometimes called them security toys. In Peanuts Linus and his trusty blanket is the best example I can think of.
The poor security toy started out as pristine and new. It was as clean as could be freshly made and every thread or part in its place. At this time teddy was not dragged everywhere. The attachment has not yet developed fully or completely. Adults were even proud for the children to be associated with these “security toys” in their new beautiful condition. However, most likely the child just clung to it not realizing at the moment, what this inanimate object was becoming to them and their life.
As time passes the connection to the toy increases, the condition of the Toy deteriorates. This precious toy, from now on I will call it a teddy bear no matter what it was to you, is attached to the child the child goes everywhere. It goes under beds, outside, through mud puddles, gets vomited on, of course the occasional trip to the washing machine, separation anxiety, and every other situation you can think of!
Do you have such a toy? Do you ever have days you wish you could cuddle up to it and have it with you now? Any memory stirring in you? (Well dude! I get what kind of toy you are talking about; I’m still not seeing God! And you’re starting to lose me, dragging on the teddy bear point! You are right friend.)
I wish I were, a teddy bear living on love…Okay I digress!
Well, let us think about God a little. God does not need anything. In His Trinity singleness, there is complete perfection of wholeness, richness of relationship, complete safety, and perfection ultimate. God created us to share in His perfection. There are a few misconceptions out there about God, and I’m going to attempt to tackle one of them or really mess things up, you decide. ( I hope after the read, LOL)
Where is God when bad things happen? A really, extremely, tough question, at least for me.
So, let us observe at the teddy bear, not the ant as in Proverbs! Do you remember how inseparable the teddy bear was? Multiply that closeness by about 1 billion to the one billionth power,…, now you’re just starting to fathom God’s love to mankind. Do you remember how the child took the teddy bear everywhere? Did the child even consider that it might hurt the teddy bear when the child took to at risk places?
Fortunately, with God, he does consider us as he pulls us into situation after situation. However, each situation has a choice contained in it. When I first started walking with God ” consciously “ the choice seemed to be; is God good or not? With each, encounter or trial with doubt, trouble, frustration with God the question had to be considered, then answered to self and God. Unlike the child who drug the teddy bear everywhere, God seemed to gently ease into the questions about God, exercising my free will to choose for him or against him each time.
Yes! God will customize each question, each situation, and the toughness of the situation to optimize his children’s growth in him. (He knows us well) Fortunately, through God’s rich grace, failure is an option! Yes! God will drag you into tough situations. God will never leave you or forsake you in those situations as you are his child.
Nothing can separate you from God. Therefore, he goes, you go with Him! God is never afraid of tough situations. He has no fear of your answer as long as you are honest. (I would G be hot or cold, if you are lukewarm I will vomit you out.)
Wherever the child went the bear was sure to be close by. Now think about God and his close relationship with his creation. God’s job is to go to good places and celebrate sometimes, and go to bad at other times with us in tow. (We are followers of Christ ) The Bible states we cannot be separated from the love of God.
This means that we go where God goes because we are inseparable. I do not think any of us mind when we get to go to good places or fun places with God as he travels with us. But! What about the bad places, the places where the teddy bears eyes get ripped off. The places where the teddy bear gets all muddy and dirty, but is still with the owner faithfully being a companion to the owner. The places of terror us to where we our stuffing coming out of burst seams. Do we enjoy those incredibly tough moments?
If we don’t like them we still have choice to leave. Or! We can stay with God and see what he’s going to do!
Do we want to follow God in those tough moments or times? Should God send somebody other than us to represent him in those tough times? Do you want a brand-new follower of Christ or would you rather one of God’s tattered and torn teddy bears to come to represent God and his comfort. A believer who has seen the good times and the bad times with God, even though beat up on the outside the stuffing’s or innards of this believer are pristine and new. (The outward man perishes but the inward man is renewed day by day)
As God takes you places in life that are painful. Is he prepping you to be one of his tattered yet well repaired teddy bears to carry his pure song into a disaster? In the book of James it says: count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations. You are becoming one of God’s well-worn teddy bears that stick around and he can trust to send in to the tough situations as the King himself leads his army to help a lost and hurting world.
Sure, it may look like we have few parts absent and a few seams where there should not be seams, but we have stuffing inside us that has been renewed, purified and cleaned day by day. We Are loved and sent by the Holy One God into the trouble of this world to help humankind see a God who is worthy of their life. No! Not to send judgment or condemnation on you! But, to send an invitation to join God in his heavenly place. (Good and perfect gifts come from above.) The other stuff comes from somewhere else! (The other team has a strong propaganda team, I must admit)
Do you complain like I complained when God takes the places with him that I don’t want to go? Is the love God has given you worth being sent to places you do not want to go? Well, it is not as hard as it sounds. The gospel burden is not heavy, because God through Jesus carries the entire burden or performance to get into heaven.
In other words if you believe in Jesus Christ and the work he did for you and accepted Jesus as your only hope to get into heaven, then you are one of God’s precious teddy bears. God has enough room in his arms to carry all of us at the same moment through all the troubles for all time.
So, God is kinda like a faithful teddy bear scenario. He loves you the teddy bear, but the teddy bear may not be as willing to love as God loves his teddy bear. Even so, He led you into tough situations because there is a need for his love and care for someone. (Should he send you just the easy jobs ? Jesus did not spare himself.) He sends the ones who are nearest, not necessarily best prepared, but God prepared, to carry his good news to the ones that he loves that are in trouble.
Yes, he has prepared you for that work for you cannot do. Wisdom is screaming out in the streets, slow up, listen, watch. Pray that your eyes are opened in your ears unplugged your mind freed. The creator’s wisdom is everywhere.
Where is God when people are killed by disasters or famine, war, each others words and that the like? God is sending his soldiers, followers to comfort with his good news. He is cuddling the souls of the people that are hurting and dying. He is listening for that last moment call that they believe in God and welcoming His own.
He hopes and desires for acceptance from the unsaved and invites fellowship with him, but accepts the denial of his grace, then he bitterly weeps because he’s been separated from his dear teddy bear. The one he never wanted to be separated from. This is where God is in everyone’s time of trouble.
He is not afraid of any of your trouble He is with you to the last moment ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, your choice accept or deny the good news, a.k.a. the gospel of Christ. What do you think?