A couple of weeks ago my sis n law ask me, ”Have you read The Shack”? It had been setting on my desk for nearly a year and I hadn’t even picked it up. She went on the tell me that she wanted to finish it before the movie came out. I replied “There’s a movie”? I was super pumped, I love a good movie and not having to read a book to hear the story, now that was exciting. I have always heard that the books are way better than the movies, always.
I decided I better read this one!
Let’s just say I didn’t put the book down until I had read every last word. My heart was so full and so heavy all at the same time. With tears rolling down my face for two days I wrestled with this man’s struggle and triumph. I raced to the movies on opening night and it did not disappoint either. As much as I don’t want to think of humans portraying God’s story, I do love that this man’s story gets to be told. I do believe that God can work through anything, even Hollywood.
What I loved most about the book and movie is how patient and loving our God truly is and how a relationship with him changes everything. It was a great reflection of love and what God’s love feels like. Secondly, I sit here today with a better understanding of God’s judgement. How he really wants to reach each and every person, every sinner no matter their sin and bring them to redemption!
I don’t know why this is so hard to swallow as humans we want justice now, we want others to pay for what they have done now and in the meantime God just wants to touch them, to love them, and redeem them. This book was such a reflection of just that. You see this man’s struggle, his anger and hatred building and building (and rightfully so), But how God shows him what forgiveness does and feels like…aww man POWERFUL!
Today, as I was reading the story of Jonah I feel as if I was reading a very similar story. Jonah running from God, not wanting the city of Nineveh to hear God’s message . Jonah hated them, he wanted to be the judge, he wanted justice, he didn’t think they deserved God’s redemption. But God chose to tell a different story, God chose Jonah to bring them to repentance through his message, even though he tried to run and refused to do it.
Same story different dialect; GOD USES THE BAD FOR GOOD, FOR HIS GLORY! (even if it may not look like it to us) I love how God turns this world upside down!
Do you wish sometimes that judgement would come upon sinful people whose “wickedness” seems to demand immediate punishment.
God is more merciful that we can imagine. God feels compassion for the sinners we want judged, and he devises plans to bring them to himself. What is your attitude toward those who are especially wicked? Do you want them to be destroyed? Or do you wish that they could experience God’s mercy and forgiveness?
I learned so much from both of these stories. The full picture of God’s love and compassion and the realization that no one is beyond redemption! The gospel is for ALL who will repent and believe. If you’re struggling with forgiveness and/or forgiving I ask you today to walk into that relationship. Your relationship with God is your first step toward forgiveness and forgiving, your relationship with God is where following starts, your relationship with God is where true LOVE lives, your relationship with God is where GOD shows up and turns this world upside down!
I love seeing this world turned upside down, do you?