Growing Appreciation

Michael Beck Michael Beck

“He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.” (Deuteronomy 32:4)

The first people we come to know as children are our parents. They can befuddle us at times. Why do they act the way they do? What is going on with them? They are often an enigma to us.

As we enter adolescence, we gain a bit more understanding, but with it the tendency to judge our parents, often harshly. We see their deficiencies in the light of other people’s parents.

But as we grow even older, living out our own lives, we become more willing to know our parents as human beings, just like ourselves. Yes, they were not without flaw, but neither are we. Bitterness gives way to mercy, and even gratitude. Instead of looking at what our parents didn’t give us, we appreciate what they did give.

We can have a similar evolution of attitude toward God. At first, we have difficulty understanding Him. At times, He seems so good and loving; and then, out of nowhere, He turns hard and implacable. We can’t figure Him out.

Over time, we can fall into bitterness toward God. What kind of God is this who lets people suffer, who has allowed us to suffer? We are only too willing to become ungrateful toward the God who made us.

And then perhaps we become a little wiser with the years. We are willing to take a “second look” at the God we dismissed as unworthy of praise. Perhaps, He is not as bad as we thought. Maybe, He is not bad at all. Did we charge Him foolishly? Did we fail to understand Him and His motivations?

We have now entered the most exciting time of our life. A time when we wish to get to know our Father in heaven. A time when we are ready to appreciate Him for who He is and what He has done. We even want to understand the purposes behind His chastenings of us.

But unlike our changed attitude toward our earthly parents, there is no need to show God mercy. To fully know Him is to know that He is Light, and in Him is no darkness at all. We now do well to only have thankfulness in our hearts to the God we once did not know or understand.

Michael Beck is a pastor in New York City and the main author on Signpost. Receive a daily devotional he publishes every morning via email.