I’ve been a Father for 11 days now. In this time I have learned a lot of things. One of the key things I’ve learned about parenting, is that it involves a certain amount of suffering. It has made me reflect on the suffering God the Father must experience when dealing with His children.
When my son is up in the middle of the night crying, seemingly in pain, and we try everything we know how to do to soothe him, to no avail, it fills me with anger, frustration, and deep sadness. Tears come, I pass him to my wife for a while and eventually she hands him back.
How much more suffering for a God who loves us more than I will ever love my son. For a God that respects our independence and just wants to console us, but we don’t respond? We don’t listen. We have a library full of God’s words to His people about how much He loves them; about all that He has done to resolve the brokenness and sin in our lives once and for all, and yet we still commit the most terrible errors against His will.
Oh, how He must grieve, how He must grieve. It helps me understand the Holy anger of our Lord. Not an anger to destroy, but an anger that just wants us to accept the love he has given us, the grace he pours out over us. Not an anger to throw us into eternal hellfire, but an anger that says “I have shown you the way”, “I have taken the punishment away”. An anger that grieves our inability to accept something so fundamental, yet in our broken state, so difficult for us to comprehend and accept.
To rephrase a favourite verse, “Lord, I believe, help me love”.