My friend Beth has a son, Trevor, who is four years old. He was running around one day and fell and hurt his hand, or as he likes to call it, he got a "boo boo." Taking the opportunity to make the ocassion a "teachable moment," Beth was consoling her son,
"Your'e ok, Jesus will take care of you, and make it feel better, and He will heal your hand."
Trevor looked up at her with his adorable brown eyes,
"Yeah, and He's gonna have a wooden spoon in His hand?"
Isn't it interesting that a four year old boy pictures Jesus with a wooden spoon in His hand? Of all the images, why that one? Sure, he's four years old, and we usually don't equate them being very theological, but after I thought about that...it is an interesting statement.
You see, I don't think we as adults are much different than Trevor. I am not sure if we have a correct image of who Jesus is either. Whenever things are not going the way we want them to, sometimes we think, "God is punishing me." Or we may even have jacked up motives for serving God because we fear God will punish us if we don't perform up to His standard.
I think our image of God can be correlated with our experienc of God. Experience is great, and God invites us to "taste and see that the Lord is good." But there also must be some caution in this area, because God's character is not limited to our circumstances; it supercedes it.
Consider Job. In Job 1:1, he is described as "blameless, upright, fearing God and turning away from evil." Yet, Job experienced tremendous suffering, all brought upon him from God. Yes, that is correct, God brought about Job's suffering...for His name sake.
I have come to a decision that either God is a liar or He's telling the truth. We get so used to hearing Romans 8:28 quoted, that sometimes it becomes a little mundane. But read it again, as if for the first time,
"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."
Praise God! God works all things together for our good, not for our punishment! Let's stop imagining our Heavenly Father as a punisher with a wooden spoon in His hand, ready to beat us! He is the Lamb, who was sacrifced in our place, so that we would not experience eternal punishment, but eternal life. I want to enjoy Jesus, not dread Him.