This morning I had a tantrum with God. That word sounds almost cute, but it wasn't cute. I went for my usual walk down the sycamore-lined cemetery road, where it is my custom to rhapsodize him. This time I went out there just to not speak to him. Emphatically, like a surly wife. When I broke my silence it was to pour out a gunnysack of complaints and charges:
"I want to believe and please you, but you don't make it easy. Everything is always so ambiguous. Your Word is confusing. You seem to challenge me to greater faith, and to embolden me to put my weight fully on every jot and tittle you wrote---and then I do and you don't answer. I need to know what the deal is. I don't think this is fair. And how does it glorify you if I am in this condition? Don't you know that I am dust?"
. . . Even then, he is silent. I had vainly thought to elicit a miracle by this near blackmail, but all I hear back from him---or is it the sound of my own voice---is "Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
Then I am terrified because I see where this is leading. At the end of sulking you still have to make a decision, and the options are bleak. Islam is a nightmare, and Buddhism and Hinduism make no sense. And there is no such thing as not choosing, because despair is also a choice. One imagines that giving up on the faith will be a relief, but one finds there is no relief at all in unbelief; it is the frying pan exchanged for the fire.
The Bible says that God can do all things. But the only thing he cannot do is believe for you.
If God is a Father, he is a very strict one. He lavishes his gifts daily, even the very breath with which I rail against him, as I sit on his lap and swipe at his face. But when it comes to the terms he laid for relationship---"believe in the one he has sent"---he won't budge at all. And so no matter what I say, Lord, no matter what I do, I always come back round to you.
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