Good Morning Brothers…
I want to tell you a story. I want to tell you a story about a man trying to raise a son. I want to tell you a story about a man trying to raise a son only to discover another story.
“Do you see that lightening rod up there on the peak of the house?”, I asked.
“Yes.”, my son answered with an irritated look on his face.
“Just to the left of it, about 3″ away, is a hole. I filled that hole with caulking years ago to keep the rain from getting under the roofing. Do you know how I know that hole is there?”, I asked.
“Because you built it.”
“Do you see this retaining wall made of railroad ties?” (My son nodded.) “Well, on the backside of the railroad ties is a tarp stapled to the railroad ties to keep the sandy soil from washing through the cracks. Do you know how I know that tarp is there?”
“Because you built it. Dad I know you built the house.”
“Do you know why I built this house?”
“So you could live in it.”
“No…so my family could live in it. Son, you are my family. I built this house for you. Do not hide from me.”
Genesis 3:8-13 tells a similar story, They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
“Son, I understand that you are trying to spread your wings and be a man. But you must understand that I do not make decisions without your well being in mind. Everything I do…is for your best interest. Do not hide from me.”
The story of this man trying to raise this son reminds me of ‘the story’. It reminds me that God created a place for His family to dwell in face-to-face communion with Him. It reminds me that there is a sound, recognizable to Adam an Eve, of the Lord walking in the garden in the cool of the day. It reminds me that God’s desire is to have an enduring relationship with us. It reminds me that God does not want us to hide from Him. It reminds me of what sin is…independence. Independence from God.
I think back on my life to all of the times I spread my wings and tried to fly. What I realize now, that I didn’t realize then, is that I was trying to shake off the guiding hand of God. I sought after all of the shiny seductive things of this world, I sought after my independence. I sought after the fake sovereignty promised by my culture. I lusted after the power, knowledge, an experience necessary to say, “I did this myself.” What I realize now…is that I was an idiot. I was hiding from the sounds of God walking into my life calling for me to come home. I didn’t realize that every decision God makes is in the best interest of His family.
I needed to read again, Romans 8:28-31, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?”
What can we say…if God be for us; if God called us; predestined us; justified us; glorified us; who can be against us? Who can stop God from telling His story of salvation and freedom?
We can stop the story from spreading. God has filled us with the fullness of Christ, but He will not take away our freewill to seek independence.
“Son, you need to understand that I love you unconditionally. No matter what stupid idiotic thing you decide to do, I will always love you. Some day when you’re a dad you will understand that even though you may want to strangle your kids…you love them so deeply that it hurts. I want a relationship with you beyond a set of rules. I want a life with you in it. But you have to choose, do you want to be in this family or not?”
“Do not hide from me.”