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Is God Judging Me?
A drawing I did that day of my daughter
Is God Judging Me?
At a recent visit to the doctor, my daughter said, “I think God is judging me. . . to see if I will be faithful to church even when I am sick.”
Well, it did seem like God could have been testing us, given the four hours we were waiting to get out of that clinic. You really should not have to wait three hours just to get out of the waiting room!
A father’s heart always breaks to hear his child, just nine years old, say such things. Here was this quiet, thoughtful, sweet, sacrificial, and serving child who thinks that strep throat was God judging her. And how do you convince such a lamb that sometimes a sore throat is just that, only a sore throat.
Then my pastor’s heart condemned my rashness in judgment. Why should I dismiss what might be the spiritual insight of this dear young saint. Maybe she was right. She did not mean that God was trying to punish her, but test her. And perhaps that was exactly what God was doing. For the moment that her faith engages and she decides that she is going to react in a spiritual way to life’s trouble, it has become test of faith. The moment she relies on God to help her through, it becomes a triumph of faith.
What is it about the physically hard times of our life that draws our attention to God? Why does it take the illness or the broken bone, or the death of the loved one to get us to pray? Why must we hurt before we take time to examine our relationship with our loving Savior? And why is there so much suffering in the world? Does God cause our suffering?
These big questions cause some to run from God and dismiss Him as a careless father (at best) or a spiteful authoritarian at worst. But the truth has less to do with who God is and more to do with what we are. We are sinners. We, not God . . . we brought sickness and disease into this world. We behave in unhealthy and dangerous, willful ways. Then we blame God, who warned us about such sin. We shake an angry fist in the lovely, loving face of the faithful God. And we angrily demand an answer when the end our dangerous lives end in death.
One thing is true though. It is often that painful time when we turn our faces back to God. We cannot begrudge the Great God if He takes that rare opportunity to talk to us. When everything is fine, we do not listen.
So, is God judging us when we hurt? Is He trying to test us when we endure such trouble? Maybe, but this is sure. If we use that moment to remind us that we need to look and listen to the loving Lord and Savior . . . If we do that, then I say we have turned trials and temptations and troubles into triumphs.
So, was God testing you, my daughter? I do not know. But if He was, I believe you passed the test brilliantly.
By Andrew Grosjean 11-13-09
The sketch I have above was drawn the day of this horribly long doctor's visit. She was sitting just like that when she said, "I think God is judging me. . ." as recounted above. I hope the picture and the writing are a blessing and help to you as they have been to me.