(It's Five Minute Friday time again. Click here for more.)
I am afraid of God. It's an irrational fear, or maybe not, if you consider how purposefully the enemy has worked to create this fear. The years of being told that God delighted in being cruel to "good" people. That He was forever making life difficult. That He was unkind, mean, uncaring. I learned all these early in life from the mouths of people whom others don't like me to speak poorly of so they will both go unnamed. But the damage is done. It was further done as I grew, still believing this, and fell into a situation where the Christian leadership was cruel as well. Where I was taught that it didn't matter how the pastor treated you, you stayed in the church as long as it espoused certain beliefs, even if it only paid lip-service to those beliefs. Ultimately, that cruelty would lead me to fear pastors, elders, etc. But lately, God has been working on me. Slowly healing old wounds both done to me and by me. Lately, as I've been deliberately studying His Word, one theme seems to be recurring...God can be trusted. He is faithful. He will never leave nor forsake. Though all around me fail, pastors, relatives friends, God will never fail, He will be the same as His word promises, and His word promises great things. Maybe life here won't be perfect, there will be trials, that is also a promise, but He is with us through each one. He lifts us up. He alone truly cares for us and meets each of our needs.
Visual Aid: OK, so this doesn't exactly do it justice but making God's love for us contingent on how "perfect" our lives are is just unrealistic. (And it's the 40th anniversary year of this song...or so someone said in the comments. :D)