There was only one thing left to do. I rushed into our bedroom hoping that it was not too late. Throwing myself across the bed, tears flowing over my forearm onto the bedspread, I pleaded with my Heavenly Father, "I am so, so sorry. I just cannot spend another minute without speaking to You. I don't need that bike today and I will wait for my birthday to get one. Please, let me speak to You like I have my whole life. I am just so sorry and I will never do this again." The Lord must have heard my repentant urgings as I, suddenly, felt a light and wonderful release of the painful burden that had grown all day long. It was over and I could speak to God again, whenever I wanted to! Then, in the innocence of a child, I went on as though this event had never happened. I got up from the bed and began telling God all about every event of the day that "He had missed"! Oh, how wonderful it was to have my Friend back!
I have been a fulltime missionary since 1984 and continue to be amazed when my colleagues with children this same age are shocked into disbelief at the sight of their seven-year-old weeping over his sins! How can that be, they ask How bad can the sins of a seven-year-old be that it should cause him to cry like that? He is just not old enough to have done anything so bad! Well, dear Reader, I have no idea what has caused the recognition in the life of any other seven-year-old but I KNOW that it was real to me and that God so tenderly taught me that HE understood me. I can point to this event in my life and know that I, too, began to learn about understanding God through this experience.
I have named my blog "Understanding God" because that is the journey of my lifetime. The word "understanding" has more than one meaning. It can be used as an adjective and we can see that there is an "understanding God" who cares so much about us, even if we are just children and working out what is really important in our young lives. We can make a point of setting our own goals in deciding what is the single most important thing for our sojourn on this planet… "Understanding God!"
What did I, at the age of seven, learn here? First, that I needed God in my daily life every bit as much as I thought He must, surely, need me! I learned that, while God did understand my request, in His great understanding he knew that I needed to learn Who He was… the Almighty God Who loved me but Who was not going to be manipulated by me, at any age. I never tried such a tactic ever again. I, quite clearly, now knew of my own need and that the Creator of the Universe was Sovereign. I also learned that He was a kind and tender God. He did not punish me any more than just being without Him for the day had punished me! He never held it against me and reminded me that "Last time you…" so I knew it had all been forgiven and we were okay again. I learned that the wonderful feeling of joy and peace followed my asking Him to forgive me and that the forgiveness was immediate and not contingent on any penance I might need to perform first. And, most of all, I learned the sweet joy of just having God in my life, each and every day and under each and every circumstance! I set my sights on understanding God to the best of my ability, though at age seven, I could not have expressed it in those words. I just never wanted to "lose" Him again!
Do you have any childhood "God memories" you would like to share? I would love to read them! My blog is understandinggod.info because, well, the others were taken unless I wanted to pay twenty-five times what this one cost to register (!) but in the end I thought it was the best one. It is my sincere desire that we share whatever information we have about our separate journeys in understanding so a ".info" seemed appropriate!
…answers to questions coming tomorrow