The Character of God

       Something happened recently that stirred up the fearful, panicky side of me.  When that happens, it is easy for me to get discouraged in my life and in my faith.  In a walk through the woods, though, I had a chance to practice the PAPA prayer which includes the challenge to “attend” to who God is in the midst of our situations.  As I contemplated that, I recalled a passage I read the other night from George MacDonald’s children’s book At the Back of the North Wind.  In this book the North Wind is presented as a good and faithful instrument of God, always doing what God bids it to do.  A boy named Diamond falls in love with this good instrument of God but cannot understand one night when the North Wind is sent on a mission to overturn a ship on the ocean that will result in the deaths of nearly everyone onboard.  Diamond cannot understand how the North Wind can be so kind toward him then turn around and do something so horrible, so Diamond asks her, “Why shouldn’t you be good to other people as well as to me?” When the North Wind asserts that she is always good, Diamond presses the question, “I don’t see that you are.  It looks quite the other thing.” Listen in to their conversation:

       “Well, but listen to me, Diamond.  You know the one me, you say, and that is good.”

       “Yes.”

       “Do you know the other me as well?”

       “No, I can’t.  I shouldn’t like to.”

       “There it is.  You don’t know the other me.  You are sure of one of them?”

       “Yes.”

       “And you are sure there can’t be two mes?”

       “Yes.”

       “Then the me you don’t know must be the same as the me you do know—else there would be two mes?”

       “Yes.”

       “Then the other me you don’t know must be as kind as the me you do know?”

       “Yes.”

       “Besides, I tell you that it is so, only it doesn’t look like it.  That I confess freely.”

       This passage reminds me to trust in what I know of the goodness of God even when I cannot see His goodness in any particular situation I may be facing.  God is not two; He is one.  And the one I know is good and loving, so I will trust Him even when I do not readily see the good that He will yet do. 

One response to “The Character of God”

  1. Nancy Hull says :

    I so understand that feeling, often from saying stupid things at school. I am praying against that feeling for you and Deb.
    I know that God will bless you richly in this, the spiritual warfare is proof.

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