By Doug Snyder
As a first-time grandpa, the most endearing memory is that of my granddaughter exploring the world around her, turning, whirling in wide-eyed wonder. No concern. No worry. No anxiety. No fear. Just exploring. Trusting. Learning.
Grandpa and grandma are quick to the rescue when a foreseen action warrants. Sometimes we rescue and rescue and…rescue.
Frankly, that’s a lot like God with me. The older I grow, the more I see God like a gentle grandfather, lovingly enjoying his grandchildren.
Is God more an angry Father or loving Grandfather to you?
I used to think of God as an angry father. Repent meant “turn from your enjoyable season of sin to the stale existence of Christian self-denial.” Repent meant an intense finger-wagging scolding, like an old-time evangelist in fever pitched convulsion, or, the angry furrow-browed adult, warning wrong-doers.
Yes, I do believe sin separates us from God. I believe in evil, a devil, and hell. Yet, I understand “Repent” quite differently today.
“Don't you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can't you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” Romans 2:4
My heart was heavy walking home from school. In my pocket was a letter from our Principal. It detailed events of a recent 8th grade ski trip where 5 or 6 students had been seen drinking alcohol from an unmarked bottle. The consequences were severe. And I expected the same at home.
To my surprise, both mom and dad were calm and gracious. They asked questions, forgave, and offered insightful direction. We agreed upon disciplinary action. And I went to bed grateful. It was a good experience. It was a turning point in how I looked at grace and real Christianity. God is Good. God is kind. And I liked that.
You cannot fight the evil attacking your life alone. The tide is too great. But you can “repent.” You can turn to God for help. He is Good. And He is kind. He is not the angry deity you might think.
Are you in bondage to sin right now? Turning is your only survival option. When you do, God will fight for you.
God fights, both for YOU (to win your affections) and FOR you (to protect you, His child).