The Rescue & eBook Sneak Peek, "Our Dad is Not Mad: Trust Reclaimed"
We recently hosted a party for our good friend Emily’s 30th birthday party. Emily and her husband, Ian, have 5 children. All their friends have kids too….some of them, lots of them. Before too long, our pool was swimming with children!
One eager two-year-old decided not to wait for his dad to swim with him so he jumped right into the pool. My husband, Bill, saw him floundering and jumped right into the pool to pull him out, to save him from drowning.
Bill didn’t hesitate. He didn’t even take time to pull his phone out of his pocket or take off his shoes. All he knew is he saw a child drowning, and he must respond.
I find this so interesting because this is the exact same picture/situation I felt impressed to use for our upcoming book, Our Dad is Not Mad: Trust Reclaimed (Book 3 in the “You Were Meant for More series).
'Our Dad's not Mad' Sneak Peek:
Daily we hear tragic stories. Whole villages wiped out by war. Women raped and children kidnapped. Disease running rampant. Poverty and homelessness increasing. Children abused in their own homes. Worshipping people blown apart. Politicians taking advantage of those they are entrusted to lead. Children sent away to foreign countries by frightened parents only to be met by angry crowds blocking their arrival. On and on it goes. We shake our head and wonder, When will it stop?
Will it ever stop?
We also ask, “How could God allow this?” Some of us even ask, “How could God do this?” as if God is to blame.
We are not alone. People through the ages have wrestled with the same questions, hitting the wall of broken trust and finding themselves hopeless and hardened by suffering.
Even the psalmist wrestled and looked for someone to blame. Psalm 44 includes:
“But now you have tossed us aside in dishonor.
You no longer lead our armies to battle.
You make us retreat from our enemies
and allow those who hate us to plunder our land.
You have butchered us like sheep
and scattered us among the nations.
You sold your precious people for a pittance,
making nothing on the sale.
You let our neighbors mock us.
We are an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
You have made us the butt of their jokes;
they shake their heads at us in scorn.
We can’t escape the constant humiliation;
shame is written across our faces.”
The writer continues:
“Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep?
Get up! Do not reject us forever.
Why do you look the other way?
Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression?
We collapse in the dust,
lying face down in the dirt.”
Can you relate? Would you write something similar?
Or, do you stuff your feelings in a locked closet, conveniently but dangerously ignoring them?
Do you cover up your questions and numb the pain with your current drug of choice: food, internet shopping, hero worship, sports, alcohol, sex, co-dependency, social media frenzy?
I have good news.
Our dad is not mad!
God is not distant or disinterested, far off, or angry. God is seeing it all and cares deeply for how hard you hurt.
I heard a story recently of a dad who went to pick up his older children from a birthday party at a backyard pool. He had just gotten home from work and seeing the frenzy on his wife’s face, he offered to take his two-year-old with him for the party pick up. While he gathered his older children, the dad realized he didn’t know where his two-year-old had gone. He ran out to the pool deck and realized with panic that his beloved child was at the bottom of the pool. The dad immediately jumped into the pool to rescue his drowning child.
Thankfully, the child was okay. The dad heaved himself out of the pool, his suit dripping with water, his silk tie stained with chlorine, his leather shoes sloshing with each step, and sat down to comfort his child. One of the other guests walked by and said, “Sorry about your suit, man.”
Indeed, it looked absurd. You don’t swim in dress clothes.
And yet, no one would doubt the decision of this fully-dressed-up-dad, to jump into a pool to save his drowning child.
This story reflects the heart of our heavenly father.
God jumps into our pool of distress.
God is like a fancy-clad executive who lives with authority and expertise, who is clothed with power and might. And yet, God put on skin, put on a messy human self and entered our world.
It doesn’t make sense. It’s absurd. Why would God, way out there, holy and holding it all together, come here, to our mess?
Because God can see us when we are drowning, falling under the weight of the worldly pressure to follow the rules, do the right thing, or living under an oppressive system of misplaced power or the burden of guilt.
When God’s kids are drowning, God jumps into the pool, soaking his suit, drawing the stares, and God rescues us with an embrace of love, hope, and life. God loves us with the undoubtable, I’ll-do-anything kind of love.
God figured that if he sent his son, who looks and acts like God, we would know the truth about God’s intentions and character; God is a good father who wants the best for his kids and is always working to bring about their health and vitality.
God’s son’s name is Jesus.
The Bible tells us in John 1:14:
"So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness.
The Message says it this way:
"The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish."
As one with God, Jesus moved into flesh with all its limitations, trappings, blood, hair, and skin. As a human, Jesus performed miracles, taught crowds, and died a devastatingly powerful death. Jesus was fully God and absolutely human at the same time.
Jesus came to offer the direct experience of relationship with the eternal God who calls us to know him. He emptied himself and lived obediently to fully reflect the character of God. Stuffed into a human body, he became just like the rest of us.
Jesus got hungry, he got thirsty, tired, angry and even emotional when he experienced suffering——both his own and those around him.
In fact, Jesus came to earth knowing his mission from heaven was to live to give people an experience of his father’s heart and intentions, and then to die— a sacrificial death that absorbed the evil and the separation that keeps us from a full relationship with God, our mutual father.
Hebrews 2:14-15 tells us:
"Since the children are made of flesh and blood, it’s logical that Jesus became flesh and blood in order to rescue them by his death."
By embracing death, taking it into himself, he destroyed the devil’s hold on death and freed all who cower through life, scared to death of death.
Imagine it. We have a dad who loves us so much that he didn’t hesitate to act the moment he saw us drowning. He didn’t just sacrifice his expensive suit to save us; he gave us everything when he gave his first son, Jesus, to us, with a mission to die.
Does that sound to you like a dad who is mad?
HE is Dying to Jump in with US
I have met so many people lately who are disillusioned. Whether they follow Jesus or not, some inside the walls of the church, others far outside, I find people are having a harder and harder time remembering that we have a heavenly dad who is not mad, indifferent, judgmental, or absent.
If you are having that 'in your face sense,' or a quiet nagging sense, will you remember that if my husband Bill was willing to jump into a pool to save a little boy he’d never met, our Creator is DYING to jump into the pool to save us and not only that, but to swim with us...to enjoy his creation with his created ones.
In great hope,