This next story is a bit different from the previous ones in this series, as I was actually 12 years-old at the time this story happened, and this time, we were actually driving in Spain, not Italy. We were on one of the notoriously narrow winding roads that were built long after the medieval buildings. This meant the roadway would actually bend suddenly and sharply to go around random corners of ancient buildings.
None of this bothered me, however. My dad was a great driver with years of experience on European roads, and I knew we were safe in his hands. After all, we had never been in an accident as long as he was driving! I was, in fact, nodding off. It had been a long day on the road, and as usual, my stomach wasn’t too happy to have been riding in the back seat for so long. My sleep was abruptly ended, however, with a loud “crash” and a jolt that threw me off my seat. The unthinkable had happened: My dad was in an accident!
Fortunately for all of us, my dad’s car was a big, heavy one, and although the front end was dented and we couldn’t drive the car anymore, and even though seat belts weren’t yet a requirement in that day, none of us were hurt. Even my dad, the driver, was fine.
We were all kind of in shock about all of this; but then, the last thing we felt like worrying about happened: The driver of the other car blamed my dad for the accident.
I couldn’t believe it. How could anyone actually “blame” my dad for the accident? Didn’t they know he was a fantastic driver? Didn’t they know he would never have done anything to put us at risk?
Unfortunately the witnesses to the accident also claimed it was my dad who hit the other car. This really made me angry. The only way they could even think of accusing someone who was as good of a driver as my dad was because they didn’t know him!
The police were able to eventually sort through everything, and their determination was that my dad was actually not at fault for the accident. I was so relieved when the police finally told my dad they knew he was innocent! At least someone believed in my dad!
Unfortunately for us, the damages to our car would have to be repaired before we could continue on our trip, and we were forced to find a hotel where we would end up staying for the next few days until the mechanic could repair our car. I remember during that time just sitting across from my dad at a restaurant and thinking about how proud I was of him, how proud I was to be his son. It was the first time I had ever realized how protective I was of my dad. But then, not everyone had such a wonderful dad, and I found myself wishing all the more that everyone could know how great he was. I even began to realize how I had taken my dad for granted all those years. It took that accident for me to realize how special he truly was.
Now, much later in life, with my earthly dad having already lived many earthly years in Heaven, I am reminded of this story. You see, although my dad passed away 27 years ago, I still have the best dad possible: My Heavenly Dad!
The problem is, just like all those people who were at the scene of that accident so many years ago falsely accused my dad of causing that accident, millions of people around the world also falsely accuse our God of not caring, of not being there, of not … loving us! Of course, those people at the scene of the accident accused my dad because they didn’t know him, and the millions around the world accuse God for the same reason: They don’t know Him. They have no idea just how wonderful He truly is. If only they knew Him they would realize that the One who died a cruel death on a cross so that each one of them could have the choice of Salvation loves them beyond comprehension! And if they understood how much God loves them, they would realize that God has our best interest in heart! They would understand that sometimes God allows things to happen because He wants to work even greater good in us! They would realize that the Creator of time would have time within His control, the Creator of the world would hold the world in His command.
So many Christians also fall into this category of not truly knowing God. They tend to see Him as a big Santa Clause, and when they don’t have their prayers answered in the way/time they expect, they conclude that they are not special to God, that God doesn’t care about them, that they are, somehow, among the “unblessed”, the “unwanted”, the “unfavoured”.
How wrong they are!
There would have only been one way for those witnesses to my dad’s accident to come to understand how my father truly was, and that would have been for them to make the effort to get to know my dad. It is the same with the unsaved world. They won’t ever understand God’s love either unless they make the effort to get to know God.
Friends, the next time you are tempted to think God doesn’t care, that you are unfavoured by Him, remember the cross. Remember: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8 NIV). Spend some time with God. Take your concerns to Him. He’s not afraid of them, and He’ll love you all the more for your honesty with Him! Get to know Him, work on a relationship with Him. Guaranteed, you will come to understand who God truly is: A loving Heavenly Father who cares for His children: “Be strong and courageous … The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 31;7-8 NIV)!
I would learn another childhood lesson from that accident and our stay in that little town… Join us on Friday!
In His love,
(To access the entire “Through the Eyes of a Child” devotional series, please click here)