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 (New Living Translation)
Does God raise his voice at us? As kids, we all remember the terror of our parents raising their voice. It could even be, “get out of the street, a car is coming” and be only for the safety of a wayward kid playing in harm’s way. The child reacts like we do. Some of us are stunned, like deer in headlights. Others, we move right away. Each tends to forget the voice once the next play activity begins. But, we are rattled by the experience. Maybe it is a boss who raises his voice in frustration. The internal reaction, even if for a moment, feels like death. If yelling is repeated often, it tells us something about the relationship or circumstance. You are not safe.
We know God is a judge. One day, each of us will stand trial at the end of this life. So, perhaps it feels like every day we are in court. Is God really there raising his voice at us as we stumble along on the path? We have battle fatigue, but is that really God’s voice telling us we are messing up? It is not like he needs a reminder of who we really are. Every choice made is in his view. Measuring up to God’s standards proves us always lacking. I am not sure his goal is to shine a spot light on that fact, is it?
We attribute the voice of God to many things. But, I am not sure he ever needs to raise his voice. As parents, we clumsily attempt to form our children. Their safety and well-being are primary concerns. We raise our voices. Sometimes, we have to. “Get out of the street!” But when yelling “take out the trash!” has the same heat and tone, we fail. I have had to apologize to my kids. If you have kids, I am sure you do as well. Does God not need to do the same for us as His children? I think we all know that answer. No.
The most amazing thing is God’s kindness, generosity, and all the good things we call grace. Yes, we are wayward. But, God’s response is to treat us as adults, even when we choose to act like foolish children. He lets us make that bad choice. His voice warns us. And, to bring us back to his fold, he applies kindness. It is the parent that instead of yelling from the kitchen window enters into the danger of the street where we are. He puts his arm around us and with kindness says, “Let’s move out of the street, son.”
Any voice that in anger yells and repels is not the voice of God. God came to our level. The judge of the universe sent Jesus, so he could in every possible way know the pain, hurt, abandonment, betrayal, and suffering that every person faces. He comes to us not to bash us back to the right path. He invites us to be with Him. He is the path! Going to Him makes us safe. Being with Him makes us right.