Colorado Life Coach: God will hit you with a frying pan

frying pan

“If you don’t do what God wants, He’ll hit you over the head with a 2X4 to get your attention.”

“God used that “frying pan” logic to get hold of me.”

“God might strike you down with a lightning bolt!”

Have you head any of these common threats, I mean quotes?

I have.

And they’ve scared me to death. What kind of God do you worship anyway? I don’t have a degree in theology (although I’ve thought of earning one). I don’t pretend to know everything there is to know about the bible. It’s hard to understand sometimes! Even the simple things can be difficult.

I remember leaving a bible study and telling a friend I was absolutely terrified of making a move–any move. I had been hurt enough in life, I didn’t want to get pummeled by God, too. I was so concerned about angering God that I would rather just not think about him than risk doing something to make him mad. If I just stayed quiet, maybe he’d be OK with me and leave me alone.

It’s so sad when I think about it. I was hurting. And I was scared of God, the only being in the Universe capable of healing me!

It happens so often! I see this all the time. People are hurt by life, or by other people. Then well-meaning (sometimes) Christians come along and spout off some cliche or scripture they memorized for a sticker 20 years ago (sometimes they don’t know if it’s a cliche or a scripture-have you ever heard that God will never give you more than you can handle?). Sometimes the scripture is totally valid, but their timing stinks! Take Romans 8:28 for instance: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” It’s all true! But think how it may sound to the mom who just lost her unborn baby, or the family that just lost their job for the 3rd time this year, or the alcoholic who’s wife just left him because he can’t stop drinking. It will all work out for the best because you love God.

It’s true, but really…can you wait until they aren’t quite so raw emotionally to quote this?

Someone gets into trouble and is really hurting. Is this the best time to tell them God is trying to get their attention? I went through a period where I didn’t sleep for 5 months, at all. I asked people to pray for me. Several people told me that if I’d listen to God during the day, He wouldn’t have to keep me up at night. How do they know I wasn’t listening to him during the day? Do they know their words actually added to my pain and suffering?

Or

We had to relinquish our adopted son to another family due to extreme Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD). Our family was falling apart and my health was failing. Another family came alongside us and we watched our son transition into their family. It wasn’t what we wanted. It was horribly painful, but it happened. Was it helpful when a friend told me that “God would NEVER tell me to give up my son!”? Not really. I lost a friend as well as my son that day.

Can we just stop pretending we know it all? Can we meet people in their pain, instead of screaming at them to stop their behavior? Can we understand that it must have taken a whole lot of craziness in that person’s life to cause them to seek numbness the way they do? Can we stop thinking we’re perfect and it’s everyone else who is “the least of these?”

Yes, God sometimes uses hard times to draw us close to him, because he loves us and we need him.

Does he cause the hard times? Maybe. Maybe it’s just part of living in a broken world with broken people who do dumb or hateful things. Either way, God absolutely can, and does use these times in our lives to hold us close and speak gently into our hearts. We get to choose to listen or spit in his face. I’ve done both.

He’s never hit me with a 2X4, a frying pan, or struck me with lightning. Thank you God, that you understand how difficult this world is, and you choose to meet the hurting with outstretched arms, and a huge chest to lay against!

This post written by Colorado Life Coach, Carrie O’Toole.

 

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