Dinner with God.
Read below...or listen to audio below! [audio src="https://kericardinale.files.wordpress.com/2016/03/get-real.mp3"][/audio]
I’m a lover.
I love people, animals, kids, the elderly, and any under-dog. I typically root for the sports team that I feel bad for. I also cry at the drop of a hat when I see someone in pain and when they’re jumping for joy. And, of course, I love Jesus more than life itself because He really performed a major rescue mission on my heart.
I am also a fighter.
Feisty, aggressive, stubborn and very dramatic! I’m honest, and sometimes hit way below the belt because I don’t realize how sharp my tongue is. Unfortunately, I can get a little too intense…but it’s because I feel so strongly about things inside.
If God made me an animal, I would probably be a dog. More specifically, a pitbull. Yikes! Yes! But to be fair, I used to own one. Her name was Cookie. My -ex and I rescued her when we lived in Los Angeles. As much as she was feisty and aggressive, she had the sweetest heart inside. We just didn’t always see it. We would discipline her and she would do this thing with her chin! She would hold her chin up high…With pride.
Stubborn… so stubborn. But she was an un-trusting dog. It took a while for her to come around. She would sit on the opposite end of the couch and stare off with her chin high. But eventually it would come down, and she would crawl over and cuddle up next to me where she felt safe. It took a special person to handle her. I just “understood” her.
I guess it takes a special person to handle me as well. Because I do the same thing with my chin! When I don’t want to give in to something, or be disciplined, I hold my chin up high…with pride!
So I ask myself the question…do I have someone in my life that just ‘gets’ me?
We all have our way of operating our emotions. For me, it’s all in the way someone speaks to me in my raging moments. They can’t yell or tell me to calm down, silence me, or snap at me. What works for me is, “Okay…I know you’re upset. What happened?” Or… “Keri, I understand. Let’s talk about it.” Anyone who knows me will throw a “darling” in there to really calm me down. Just ask Siri on my Iphone. Yes, it’s completely programmed to call me darling. Hey, it makes life a little more fun!
So the question is…
Do you have someone in your life that just “gets” you?
That person for me is God. He just “gets” me.
One day, I was so upset with God. I was so upset I forgot why I was even upset! But I was upset. I could probably go as far as to say… I was mad. It had to do with a very short-lived relationship I got wrapped up in. I was mad for a while until my heart started to grow sad over it. I had some guilt growing in me. I realized that I needed to talk to God about some things.
So… I asked God to have dinner with me and He accepted the invite!
I went to Wegmans and bought a meal, went home, lit a candle, and opened my Bible. He guided me to the story of Jonah. If you are familiar with the story of Jonah then you know it’s about a big fish. For me, it’s a story about the intimacy between God and Jonah. It’s the story that God used to ‘woo’ me in. A story where I heard God say to me… ‘It’s okay darling, why are you so upset?’
Here’s an excerpt from Jonah 4…
Jonah was furious. He lost his temper. He yelled at God, “God! I knew it—when I was back home, I knew this was going to happen! I knew you were sheer grace and mercy, not easily angered, rich in love, and ready at the drop of a hat to turn your plans of punishment into a program of forgiveness!
So, God, if you won’t kill them, kill me! I’m better off dead!”
God said, “What do you have to be angry about?”
But Jonah just left. He went out of the city to the east and sat down in a sulk. He put together a makeshift shelter of leafy branches and sat there in the shade to see what would happen to the city.
God arranged for a broad-leafed tree to spring up. It grew over Jonah to cool him off and get him out of his angry sulk. Jonah was pleased and enjoyed the shade. Life was looking up.
But then God sent a worm. By dawn of the next day, the worm had bored into the shade tree and it withered away. The sun came up and God sent a hot, blistering wind from the east. The sun beat down on Jonah’s head and he started to faint. He prayed to die: “I’m better off dead!”
Then God said to Jonah, “What right do you have to get angry about this shade tree?”
Jonah said, “Plenty of right. It’s made me angry enough to die!”
God said, “What’s this? How is it that you can change your feelings from pleasure to anger overnight about a mere shade tree that you did nothing to get? You neither planted nor watered it. It grew up one night and died the next night. So, why can’t I likewise change what I feel about Nineveh from anger to pleasure, this big city of more than 120,000 childlike people who don’t yet know right from wrong?”
I share this story with you because this is the story where God showed me His heart.
I laugh a little when I read it because it reminds me of myself and my babyish attitude towards God sometimes. Just like God say’s ‘Really Jonah?’… God looks to me and says, 'Really Keri?' Are we really going to pull the dramatics again? This whole… ‘Just kill me’ bit? Can you just calm down for a moment and hear me out? Yes, I changed my mind. I am God. Is that okay with you Keri? Bossy Keri who thinks she knows best?
I had a big plan for my life. But God adjusted things...for my benefit. I was angry but I brought it to His attention. And we had a beautiful conversation about it. God loved Jonah enough to give him attention and have a conversation with him. God loves me just the same. He wants to have these conversations with me…and He wants to have these conversations with you. Just like He loved Jonah and He loves me…He love you.
So, maybe give it a shot…and get real with God.