A woman tells God that she hates Him and discovers His love in return.
Some imagine that God hears only prayers that use the “right” words—nice, reverent, positive words and phrases. The idea that prayer requires such words is hogwash dished up by pious perfectionists who want to sell how-to books and keep you scared enough to listen to their “all stick and no carrot” theology.
My friend Joyce had had enough! Years of surviving abuse, abandonment, illness, marital betrayal, bills, kids in trouble, and bad religion had taken their toll on her self-esteem and a once-vibrant relationship with God. She went home from work and climbed in the shower. There she screamed out to God, “I hate You! I hate You!” She poured out her anger and bitterness in curses as hot water washed over her.
She stepped out and toweled off. In the silence a question rose in her soul: “You aren’t dead, are You?” It surprised her. All her life she had thought that if you talked that way to God, He would strike you down.
The next day her landlord was working in her backyard. He came to the back door and called to her, “Come see what’s out here.” She stepped out across the lawn, which had been mowed just a few days before. There, rising up out of the grass, was an unusual flower. It had a long stem supporting six deep-pink and white trumpet-shaped blossoms with bright yellow stamens. It was perfect. It hadn’t been there two days before when the lawn was mowed. How had it grown so fast? How did it force itself through the root thatch of the lawn? Why was there only one? So many questions, and great beauty. She knelt beside it and gently cupped the blossoms in the hollow of her hand. She was delighted.
In that moment God spoke to her heart, “See, that’s what I think about you. You are unique. You are beautiful in My sight. I delight in you.” Life and spirit flooded back into her heart and mind as she stood up in the restoration of the Lord.
My friend’s experience is authentic grace. Even now, long after this happened, if someone in our small group, where she first told this story, mentions “Joyce’s flower,” it brings instant smiles and tears of joy.
This is an excerpt from Grace at 30,000 Feet, an inspirational book by attorney Kent Hansen, one of 100+ SDA-specific resources included in all three Logos 6 SDA base packages from Logos Bible Software.