I cannot believe this state of affairs,
The world as it is and its lack of cares,
Horribly stricken and terribly confused,
How does God look on when I’m neglected and abused?
I will stew in my anger and froth and bubble,
I will continue to do so as my face grows stubble,
Then I will see, finally, God was right all along,
Then I will surrender so he can make me feel strong.
The patience of God is propounded by grace,
I understand his grace when I seek his face,
His grace allows my anger so I can see he’s good,
So I can trust and obey like I know I should.
“You will be in the right, O Lord,
when I lay charges against you;
but let me put my case to you.”
— Jeremiah 12:1 (NRSV)
God knows! God accepts. God forgives. God restores.
God knows how tenuous and frustrating and grievous life is. The Father sent his Son to encamp in this world with us, to be a human being, and to be tempted beyond any typical human measure. Jesus knows how interminable this hard life seems to be. God knows.
God accepts that we grow furious at the signs of injustice, and, that whilst we blame him or rail against life, that ultimately we will agree; God will be found to be in the right. It’s like those times we go against God’s will even in the midst of knowing it, like, “I know you’re right, Lord, but I hate it!” God accepts.
God forgives our petty misdemeanours. He’s slow to anger and abounding in grace. And if we continue our furious assault on God we will wear his wrath by the way our lives will turn out. But, while we have time to sort ourselves out, God is interested in observing how we respond. God forgives.
God restores us, having allowed us to wrestle in our anger, and having shown us his grace all through the process. And more than a worldly restoration – we are renewed! We are made new. Our understanding is elevated. We grow. Our relationship with God and with others is brilliantly enhanced. God restores.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.
For my father-in-law, Pastor Ray Brown, who preached on this passage this morning at Bellevue Baptist Church, Perth, Western Australia.