I’m not mad at you…

Sometimes a theme comes up so often in a short period of time that it seems as if God wants to teach me something about who He is. I need that too, especially when I realize that my life’s goal is to get to know God better and better. I was even made for this, John 17:3 says. How did it come about? Through a conversation, an image and a word… The conversation The reason was a, for me, challenging preaching assignment. I was going to speak about the wrath of God. A topic I don’t talk about every week. Julia, my eldest daughter, catches the term “wrath of God” and asks me what that means. I explain to her that God can also be very angry sometimes. I can see that it worries her. This is also evident from the question that follows; “Daddy, is God angry with me too?” I notice that the question touches me and I have to swallow. At that moment a text comes to mind. We read it together. His anger lasts for a moment, and his love lasts a lifetime… (Psalm 30:6a) I ask Julia if she knows what a blink of an eye is. She knows this and she demonstrates it to me by blinking her eyes very ostentatiously. “How often do you think you blink?” I then ask. I see her thinking and blinking at the same time. Her eyes widen as she gives me the result of her calculation; “A thousand trillion times!” I say to her; “God loves you so much more than He would be angry with you.” Julia’s answer satisfies me: “Wow…”. The image The text from Psalm 30 keeps me busy in the preparation for a training day about miracles. I get to help our guests receive words of encouragement and pass them on to others. I feel like I can’t stay out of harm’s way, so I ask God if He wants to tell something specific to someone present during this day. So I am determined by Psalm 30:6. An image arises in which I see an older man who is very afraid of God. Through upbringing and negative experiences in his church, he came to see God as strict and very angry. The moment I tell this during the training day itself, that image becomes increasingly clear. I mention what I received, without saying that it concerns an older gentleman. I tell the people in the room that if anyone recognizes what I am saying, they can come forward for encouragement and prayer. A number of ladies come forward. Beautiful in itself, but not the person I have in mind. I decide to mention that I am convinced that there is another man for whom this is intended. Finally, an older gentleman cautiously steps forward from the back of the room. The moment I see him I’m shocked… It isexactly the same person I saw in the picture. What encouragement for this gentleman. God turned out not to be angry, but very involved in his life! The word I teach a lesson to full-time students about different images of God. While I’m talking about it, something occurs to me. “Tell the group that I want to say something to one of them, namely…I’m not angry with you!”. It feels a bit awkward to “interrupt” the lesson with this. Still, I’ll say it. I hear myself talking… “God wants to say something to someone in the group: God is not angry with you.” I continue with the lesson and by the end of the morning I have almost forgotten the short interruption. After class, a student comes to me shaking. She says she sometimes writes down some prayers during class. While I was talking about God’s image, she wrote honestly to God. “Lord…I’m so afraid that you are angry with me.” Immediately afterwards I spoke out…God is not angry with you. Tears come to my eyes again as I write this. Three events in quick succession, which show that God apparently finds it important to emphasize that He is not angry. Maybe God is mainly talking to me. I often find it quite difficult to let the grace and love of God land in my heart. I really need to hear this from Himself. The more I get to know Him, the more I am amazed at who He really is.

About Martin Dol

Getrouwd met Annemarije en vader van 3. Hoofd Onderwijs binnen Royal Mission en gek van geo-cachen.

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