I met with the gruff old man, Mr. Grace, again today. (His real name is Don). According to him, he wasted 65 years of life…drank it up, hurt himself and his family. Then Jesus saved him. And now at 75, according to me, he exudes grace and love so fluently that I call him, behind his back, “Mr. Grace.”
We talked about God directing the FunderFamily to east TN and how that came about. Hearing about the week of prayer involved in that and hearing about the preceding 5 years of Wait, Mr. Grace asked, sort of waving his hands in the air, “Do you ever just want to tell God, ‘Just tell me what to do! I’ll do it! Just tell me what to do!”
I laughed. “Yep.”
I told of a time during the latter part of the five years when I got into a habit of yelling at God (sometimes out loud, sometimes in my head). Before that, I had always been reserved in my conversation with God, holding back TOO MUCH emotion…sometimes not even being honest in how I felt. So, to be honest with God and vocal about how much I hurt or was confused or frustrated was a step in the right direction.
And my good Father let me say my piece and listened. He knew I was hurting and was just learning to express how I truly felt to Him.
Then, after a while, days and months later, after I had gotten the hang of being honest and now bordered on the “tantrum” side of expression, He corrected me.
One day, when what had been productive communication had become whining and stomping my foot, He said,
“That’s enough. You need to stop talking to Me like that.”
My good Father had listened and let me vent but it was time to break the cycle I had settled into.
“I have feelings, too,” He pointed out. Not that He’s a sensitive wimp, but I realized I needed to treat Him as the Person He is.
So, I stopped hollering. Now when I get frustrated, confused, or hurt, I’ve learned to think about Him…not what I need or what He needs to do for me…but Him. Usually.
And that’s much better.
Mr. Grace smiled under his whiskers. And chuckled a gruff, throaty chuckle. In that story, I think He recognized His good Father, too.