I’ve been chewing on Romans 11:22 lately.
“Notice how God is both kind and severe. He is severe toward those who disobeyed, but kind to you if you continue to trust in his kindness. But if you stop trusting you will be cut off.”
There are some difficult to digest portions embedded in this verse. As one who has struggled with trust, this poses a dilemma of faith for me in the different seasons of life.
How I view God’s nature has greater implications than just my emotional state in the moment. Do I trust God to be good no matter what I am feeling? Do I trust in his kindness?
A few days or was it weeks ago, I was in a complaining state, complaining about perceived unanswered prayer. Complaining because I have seen other people get theirs answered, complaining about my lack of control over my own health. Are you sure you love me God? Are you really kind or are you selective in who receives your kindness? And then I read this verse. When I believe in the kindness of God, he is kind?
Perhaps there is more to this than the obvious mental manipulation of the God of the universe, as if that was even possible to begin with.
A conversation with a friend about motherhood put this into focus. Being someone’s child put this into focus. When my son was young and believed me to be harsh, his reactions to my love and sometimes correction put up a wall in our relationship. I still loved him. I still wanted to bless him, but he saw something other in my nature besides kindness. When he would have a grateful heart and open spirit toward me, what did he see? He saw someone that loved him and wanted to bless this moment and this day.
When I have that complaining spirit rise up in me, my view of God’s character is tainted. He doesn’t really care, so I think. When I believe God to be kind, to have greater vision than I do, what do I see? I see blessings scattered throughout my day. I see hope of tomorrow holding promises. I see a loving God. I still have the same circumstances as I did a week ago. Nothing has changed except my trusting his character and with it my emotional state.
The question is where do I want to live? Bitterness or blessing? Isolation or relationship? Once this became clear to me, my spirit lifted. Guess what I started to notice.