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Back To The Basics
Joe holding the sign, "Who you talking to . . . Me?!"
Conversation Two
Ok God . . . But why this family?
author - Pamla K Wood

Joe SearchingHey God . . . You still out there?

No, Joe, I am not still "out there," but I am still with you.
I have never left you.

Ok then, I have some more questions.

I am sure that you have many questions.
I see that you have been using your time wisely and studying the answers
that I gave you on your first question. I am ready to answer your next question.

Yeah, I am still digestingHappy Joe all that information.

And its really good news God.
Though, it is still sometimes difficult for me to believe that you love me just the way I am.

Keep up the good work Joe,
remember to keep your mind open to what I am saying
and not to mans' doctrines.

That is easier said than done God. I mean, all of my life the school
or church have told me what I should believe.
But I know you have given me the spirit of a sound mind and I do not have to be afraid.
I found that in 2 Timothy 1:7.Joe's happy

That is very good Joe. You see, once you open your mind to my love and acceptance, the scriptures start coming alive to you.

Boy, are you ever right. Things I never notice before are just magnifying before my eyes!Bible & flame

GodYour understanding is being heightened. You are beginning to understand who you really are and that You are my beloved.

I AM beginning to understand. But if you really love me would you please answer another question?

Ask away Joe. I am happy to answer any of your questions.

Well, its like this, my father used to be an alcoholic. He beat my mom and got really mean to all of us kids. He spent all of our money. Sometimes there wasnt even enough food for us to eat. The gas got turned off and the car was repossessed. Once he came home and started hitting all of us. We didn't even know what we had done wrong. Now I know that we did not do anything wrong. Dad was a drunk.Beer

Well, Joe, it looks like you understand your Dads problems.

I even kinda understand what is meant by its a disease. He just couldnt help himself. And no matter what happened, he couldnt quit drinking until he got drunk. I even believe that I've forgiven him.

You are showing your maturity Joe. I am proud of you.

I like it when youre proud of me, but here's my next question. I just want to know, WHY did you let me be born into such a family? You could have given me a really nice family. One that was normal. Parents who loved me and took care of me.

Why God, did you pick that family?Joe's Mad

Are you saying that you think I made a bad choice?

Yea God. You made a really bad choice. Those people were especially dysfunctional. I love my Mom but it seems like she could have done something to stop what was going on. She did come to our defense but the abuse that Dad heaped on her still hurt us. I mean, all that yelling and screaming and cussing and hate. That's it! The hate. How was I ever supposed to realize that you loved me when I didn't even feel loved by my own mother and father? I didn't have a chance.Joe's sad

I have a purpose for everything Joe. Why don't we take a look at John chapter 9 where the disciples spoke to Jesus regarding a blind man. They assumed, because of the blindness, that either the man or his parents had sinned at some time. Jesus told them that this man was blind so the works of God could be manifest.

Are you telling me that my parents did not show me love so that you could do a miracle?

Let me explain it this way, did your parents ever tell you that they loved you Joe?

Yes, they told me all the time. But how could they love me when they didnt show love to each other first? Besides saying I love you and showing love are two different things.beating heart

Youre right about that Joe, saying that you love someone means treating them justly.

Just like you God. You SAY you love me but IF you love me how could you let me go though all that!Joe mad

That is a good question Joe and I understand your anger. In fact, its ok that you are angry at me. I love you even when you're angry. Just for a moment, lets use the Bible and take a look at the lives of the patriarchs of old. Why dont we start with Joseph and his eleven brothers? Do you remember anything about Joseph?

Well, I know that his brothers wanted to kill him but instead they sold him into slavery.....

Oh, I know where you are going with this, Joseph's brothers were jealous and mean to him. They must have really hated Joseph to want to kill him. I know that even though they got rid of him, later you used him to save them from starvation.

Thats right. Do you realize that when he was a slave, he was unjustly accused and thrown into prison? Joseph suffered many wrongdoings before he was given a high position in Egypt. In the end do you remember who all had to come to him on bended knees?

Well, everyone had to go to Joseph to ask for food. But I remember that his family also went to him pleading for food. Joseph in Eygpt

And if his brothers had not chosen to be mean to him when he was young what do you think would have happened to his family?

Well, I guess they would have died of starvation.
But that did not make it any easier on Joseph. He still had to deal with all those feelings of rejection. Just like me! I suffered all my childhood and now I have to deal with these feelings of rejection! Joe Mean Eyes

And Joseph did deal with his feelings. Do you realize that he named his second son Manasseh which means "causing to forget?" Joseph chose to forget his feelings of anger, rejection and abandonment. He determined to forget the past and enjoy the present.

Ok, so that is one person who had family problems. Besides, he was rejected by his brothers, not his Mom and Dad. At least his Mom and Dad loved him and treated him nicely.

Think about King David, Did you realize that his own son tried to kill him?

Yea, I remember. Well, thats two. Who else?

Ive got one for you Joe, just for a minute, take a look at Jesus.

Come on now God. Jesus? He was perfect, remember? Religious Joe

Yes Joe. He is perfect.But do you know that when Jesus was born it was a criminal offense to be born out of wedlock? People were killed for such "sins."

But we are taking about Jesus, your son. People just didnt know the truth.

That right joe, but here is my point, Mary was expecting a child before she got married. Everyone knew that Joseph wasnt the father. What do you think they called Jesus?

A love child, a child that didnt know who his Father was. Illegitimate. And there are some other names.

I think you have the picture. You should know that Israel was very zealous about knowing their biological fathers. They kept track of all their generations.

I never really thought about that before. But Jesus had Mary and Joseph as parents and they loved him.

I think they must have been very good parents.Jesus & Parents

Remember that Joseph wanted to put Mary away. He was pretty upset and thought that Mary had been with another man. When that happened back then, the woman was called a fornicator and was killed by stoning her outside the city gates. I had to send an angel to tell Joseph that Jesus was special.Angel

WOW! Thats right, I guess we could say that from the very beginning of Jesus life was there was mistrust, confusion, and rejection. It looks like that was the story of his entire life too. I mean, not many wanted to believe he was the son of God. He was rejected, abused and hung on the cross to die. I remember that even most of his disciples left him alone, hanging on the cross.Joe's sad

Have you found in the Bible,Joe, anything that tells you why Jesus had to experience problems?.

Well, I've found where the Bible says that Jesus was made perfect by what he suffered. It also says in Heb 2:10, “For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.” Jesus is known as the captain of the faith.

Wow, God, it does look like others have suffered in the same way I have suffered. Even Jesus!

But why does it have to be that way? Why can't we all be perfect and be born into perfect families? After all, you COULD make everyone nice.

That is true, if I wanted robots.Assembly line of robots on a conveyer belt Let me ask you Joe, when you raised your children, did you tell them every little thing to do or did you expect them to make choices?

Well, when they were little I told them what to do, but as they grew up I let them have more room to make choices.

And it is natural to give directions to young children. But what did you do when they made wrong choices after they had moved out of your home and started their own families?

Well, I just had to let them experience their decisions. You know, they had to pay the consequences for the choices they made. I do give them my advice occasionally but it seems like they don't listen to me very often.

And how are they doing now?

One is pretty good but the other one is always into trouble. I dont understand why the second one keeps making bad choices like self abuse due to sex, drugs, and alcohol.

I raised them both the same you know. I dont think I was partial to one more than the other, or more loving.

That's how it is with children, even if you love them both the same, they respond differently. Tell me, are you able to change what goes on in their family with their children?

Not really. I try, but they just do whatever they want anyway.

Get my point?

Ok, I see what you are trying to say, but Im not you. I can only do so much, but you can do anything, you can make people do what you want.

Yes Joe, if I wanted a bunch of puppets or robots, I could make you move and be nice to one another. I could even make everyone love me. But it is my choice to let you experience life and then let you learn from your experiences. I have told you in my Word, the Bible, that I love you and I have given you instructions on what pleases me.

I know that you left an instruction manual Bibleand its all starting to makes a little sense, but it sure does take a lot of reading. I dont have it easy you know, I have to deal with all my desires and problems. I have to work for a living. Sometimes I get tired, and hungry and ANGRY! I just dont know what you want from me. Joe angry

I want the same for you as I want for all of mankind Joe. You will find in 1 Timothy 2:4. I desire all men be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. And do you know what that truth is Joe?

Could the truth be that you love us just the way we are? I gotta say God, thats Good News!

I do love you just the way you are and it is when you accept my unconditional love that you will begin to change into my image. You're my beloved. I love you so much that you should also love each other. It is when you love others that you finally understand me.

Ok, but how can I know when I really love other people? Joe's confused

Joe, its a cycle. You know I dwell in you when you first understand and you testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world . You have known and believed that I LOVE you. I am love and he that lives in love lives in me, and I live in him. See? Its the cycle of Love. I live in anyone who confesses that Jesus is the Son of God and they live in me. 1 John 4:12 - 21 will help you understand what I am trying to tell you.

Wow, God, that is a lot to read and remember. Is there a way you can summerize it for me so I could learn to live in you? I want to trust you. I want to be pleasing to you. You know what a short memory I have. After all, you made me this way. Joe's happy

Joe, it is not just something to remember, it is also something you feel. You feel loved when you accept my unconditional love for yourself. I want you to realize that you love me because I first loved you. I want you to know that even if you never love me, I still love you. I will never leave you nor forsake you. I have given myself for you. I bought you with a price. You are mine. Now just BE. BE what I have made you.

So are you saying that even though I grew up in a dysfunctional family and even though I do not always do things the right way, you love me?

That is correct Joe.

Are you telling me that you put me in that family because you knew that I would become what you wanted me to become? That I had to suffer just like Jesus had to suffer?Joe questions

Please explain again how suffering perfects me. Thats still difficult for me to understand.

First, you need to realize the word suffer also means to experience. There are some people who can only be lead into their salvation by someone who has been there. One who has suffered the same problems and yet overcame those problems. Someone who now walks in righteousness even though they were raised in THAT family.

The Bible tells us of many people who have suffered and yet overcome their circumstances.

It is the overcoming that is difficult God. It seems like no matter how hard I try, I just keep falling back into the same old trap of self hatred and anger.

It can be difficult to overcome such feelings.

So why dont you just take the bad feelings away?

I have a purpose for all things Joe. But do not be dismayed, for you will find the Bible tells about many who have suffered. Even Jesus suffered many things and it was in his suffering that he was made perfect or complete. After all, why would you trust in him if he had never experienced any problems? Look at Romans 8:16-18.16, "The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Do you understand that you are in the image of the first born son?

Wow God, what an honor, you're comparing me to people in the Bible! Just like you chose Joseph to save his family and Jesus to save the world , I guess I have been given the ability to lead others to salvation. Your salvation that is! Now I only hope that I can measure up and that I can.....religious mask

Doing those things are fine Joe, but it is not the doing that will make you better. Just when I think that you're beginning to understand, you say something that tells me that you still need to drop your religious ideas of what I expect.

Oh yeah, I forgot. I know that is not Doing you want. It has never made you happy when people DO a bunch of things but then they dont obey your number one commandment, the commandment to love.hearts

Thats true Joe and if you need an example you can use Jesus as your example. Not the Jesus people tell you about but the Jesus in the Bible. You really have to take a look at the human, Jesus.

Well, I know that he was a very loving man. That the religious leaders of his day did not like him and even crucified him. Jesus on cross

That a good start Joe. And just knowing that much should tell you something about believing what everyone else says. After all, the religious leaders of Jesus day said that Jesus was a heretic. Jesus did not DO everything that they said he should do. And he did some things that they said he should not do.

Keep in mind it is not the doing that counts, it is the BEING.

I understand! Jesus did not DO all the things that the religious leaders in his day thought he should do. It did not matter what they thought about him, he was Christ regardless of what they thought.

Being versus Doing. I think Im catching onto what you really want. You want me to BE your son and to know that you love me just like I am. You have told me it is when I really believe you love me that I will start to be like you.

Yes Joe, you are beginning to get a perspective on what it means to work out your salvation. (Phil. 2:12) This is the DO part, You just DO whatcomes natural to a person who knows that they are loved, you love other people.

This is so awesome God! To think that I can make you happy if I just accept your love. WOW! One more thing......?

Yes Joe?

Thank you for loving me even though I yelled, and screamed and cussed. It is a lot harder for me to say thank you for letting me suffer. But I want to be like Jesus, so thank you even for these experiences. I want to show others how much you love them.

And God, I love you too.Joes happy

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