The Oscillating God?
The Philippines is the hottest most humid place I have ever been in my life.
New Orleans in July doesn’t hold a candle to its suffocating heat…
I lay in my homemade sleeping bag, a queen size sheet that Karen had halved and sewn shut at the bottom before the trip. My head was on a rolled t-shirt; one of my last clean ones. The mosquito netting hung from an exposed beam above my head, cocooning me. It kinda worked; at least, it kept more mosquitoes from getting in. And the ones that slept with me were well gorged.
I doubted the net would stop the rats that ran across the beams over our heads but they seemed to have some place to go and were thankfully uninterested in the sweaty sleeping men beneath them. Strike that, the sweaty horizontal men. No one was sleeping. And our minds weren’t on the disagreeable plywood floor, the hungry mosquitoes, or the busy indisposed rats. The only thing that existed in our universe at that moment was the oscillating fan.
I wanted to find the fella that had invented the damned beautiful thing and hug and then strangle him. My emotions were as fickle as the wind. The fan was my delight and my torture. There were five of us attempting to sleep on the second floor of the two-story tin shack located on the side of a Filipino volcano. For the brief seconds, the moving airbrushed my clammy skin I knew to the core of my being that God was good and he loved me. “Oh, God.” I sighed. And then the stupid fan moved on and I would begin to doubt, “Oh God!” I cried out again, this time in desperation.
Much of my life I have served an oscillating God. You know, the fella with the fickle nature. The guy that has sunshine and ponies in one hand and the pain and disappointment in the other. I have determined His nature through the lens of my needs. When life was sweet, with demands met, health great, and friendships deep and true, I’d sigh blissfully “Oh God.”
But life isn’t always sweet. Pain happens. And when the valley of the shadow of death is upon us, that’s when we must know to our core that our Fathers nature doesn’t change. He isn’t fickle. He hasn’t gotten tired of us, or changed His mind about us. He hasn’t turned His heart from us; He’s not judging us, or condemning us. He is still the same always-good Love He has always been.
I am growing in my revelation regarding my Fathers heart toward me, “Only goodness and love all the days of my life,” that’s what I say. I say it when life is a “mountaintop” and I am learning to say it when life is a “valley.”
My Father doesn’t Oscillate! His love is steadfast and relentless. His love is pure and beautiful. His love pursues me, enraptures me, consumes me. His love is the beginning, the end, the before, the after, and everything in between. His love is good – always!
Jason Clark is a writer, speaker and lead communicator at A Family Story ministries. His mission is to encourage sons and daughters to grow sure in the love of an always-good heavenly Father. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their three children.
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