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I was born, I'm currently living, and will eventually die. After that I face my judgment, and we'll talk then.


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

God, Prayer, Children. . . and Food

We are often frustrated with our prayers. How often do we pray for something, but do not receive what we ask? How many times does that unsatisfying feeling of abandonment and frustration tingle in our minds. We might think God is ignoring us, or at least does not hear our plea.

The problem is that we are seeing matters in our point of view, not God's. The reality is much deeper than what we sense, and is equally much more beautiful. We can not fully comprehend the mind of God. We turn to metaphors to even scratch the surface of God's greatness.

Imagine a mother and her child. The child must eat, obviously, and oftentimes the child wants something it should not eat. For example, a child might want ice cream and cookies for dinner. We have all felt this way at one time or another. Even those whose deserts were more nutritious fare (fruit or what not) have desired tasty treats over the comparatively dull dinner. The mother, on the other hand, knows what is good for the child. Even a bowl of fruit should be supplemented by other, more well-rounded meals. Rather than offering the child cookies and ice cream, the mother gives the child vegetables.

This is not what the child wanted.

The child protests, complains, and if it is old enough, says the mother doesn't love him/her. It is a battle to rival that of Lepanto or Gettysburg. But the mother does not give in to the whines of the child.

Is the child right? Does the mother not love the child? Of course she does. She is showing her love through the healthy dinner. She has provided what the child needs at that time, in order to help the child grow. The child does not see why the mother is serving such a disgusting meal. It is beyond his or her understanding.

But there is a greater reason.

That's how it is with God and us. We are the children of God, and he is the provider. We turn to him for nourishment, both bodily and spiritually. We more often than not ask for desert, when the Lord offers us dinner. We do not see how the bitter taste will help us in the long run, but God knows. All that we are, and all that we can be He knows, and He, like the mother, knows what's best.

That being said, one must remember that this is a metaphor. It is not exact. Don't call God "Mother," just as you wouldn't call your own mother "God." Perhaps "Father" might be replaced for "Mother" in the metaphor, but a "Mother" should never replace the "Father."

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