A few nights ago, I was having a discussion with some friends about the changes we go through as we begin to develop a clearer picture of the truth of God in the Person of Jesus Christ. Many years ago after my eldest daughter was born, my wife became seriously ill. I was flabbergasted as to why God would allow this to happen. I cried out to God, ‘why are you doing this to me?’ I believed I was a child of God and I had faith and did what I perceived to be the right things. Yet, it seemed to me that my whole world was falling apart. This was the straw that was breaking the camel’s back.
Two weeks before we got married, I lost my job due to a work injury. The very next day, my motor bike was stolen. A month into our marriage, my wife could not cope with work due to a back injury sustained while riding her bike to work where she was hit by a car. We went from $70000 combined income to just $15000 with a mortgage on a unit in a fairly upmarket suburb here in Adelaide. We were forced to sell just as the whole housing market crashed where we should have walked away with $30000 profit. However due to the collapse in the market we ended up owing the bank $5000. Our option for affordable living was to move to the country about 200km north of Adelaide. The bank were constantly on our case to repay the debt. Some 18 months later I was in a hospital ward waving my finger at God asking Him why everything was going against us! This was an extraordinarily difficult time for us and we worked very hard since then to get ourselves on our feet.
Last year, as you may have gathered from the last post, was another dark chapter in our lives. Losing someone I considered to be my daughter had to be one of the most painful times I have ever gone through. Our foster daughter was going through some very difficult times typical of her age. I can’t go into too much detail. As immense as this suffering was and sometimes still is, I noticed that I did not question God. I knew He was there right throughout. I did not go on at Him as some spoilt, entitled child. I did ask questions as to why relationships have to be so painful especially between those we love.
The reality of our relationship with God is we are the ones who must grow and change. God does not change in His loving kindness towards us. The more we grow into this and the more we see how much we are loved opens our eyes in how we behave towards others. In the Light of Christ, I see the truth about myself more and more. I see the person I am and this is the person I do not want to be. I look to Christ and I see the person that I have been saved into and share with His divine life. This is the person I want to be but find so hard to continue in this way of life. I get down, I get moody, I get angry, I get slack, I get lazy, I have bad thoughts, and on it goes. This true me is the very person that God loves with overwhelming passion even when I feel I don’t deserve it. I believe the truth of the gospel even when everything within my being says otherwise. There are times when it feels so wrong that God should love me so much. Yet God says that loving me is right because He says its right. When we see it this way, we have no choice but to accept what He says, let Him love us the way He wants to even as despicable we might know ourselves to be, and change the way we see others.
I have done so much deep exegesis of the New Testament that I have found that I must align myself with its core thrust of grace. I cannot be so narrow minded as to keep His loving kindness to myself. I, too, must be gracious towards others, especially towards those I love. There are not many that can even imagine to understand what our foster children put us through. Nevertheless, knowing how healing the love of God in Jesus Christ has changed me from the inside out, in turn, I feel that I must commit myself to loving my foster children with the very same passion God has shown me. Believe me, it comes with incredible pain which is almost unbearable at times. Right here we get insight into how God must feel when those He loves reject Him. I had to make the decision to turn my foster daughter away and it was the right one taken in the best interests of the family. It was a loving decision to let her go. However, everything within my being will not allow me to close the door behind her. Many do not understand why I am like this. To think any other way flies in the face of everything the Bible teaches. If God can love someone like me even with everything I know about myself then the very least I can do is to keep on loving my foster daughter and let her know this is so. One day it might do to her what God has done to me. I can only pray this is so.