Updated: Nov 20, 2022
I used to find it so difficult to relate to the stories in the Bible. The stories happened so long ago, how could people from thousands of years ago have anything in common with life today?
I was wrong! The lives of the people whose stories are shared; their struggles, their emotions, their fears, their experiences and even interactions with toxic (wicked / foolish) people, are examples for us. We have much more in common than we realize.
I used to believe what I was told was all there was to Christian faith, and I didn’t search for meaning on my own. I didn’t know that even the most faithful servants struggled with depression, had fears and doubts, made mistakes and committed sins. I wonder now if teaching the “good” parts is a way to avoid the painful things none of us like to talk about.
God didn’t leave out relatable, painful events. He didn’t leave out Elisha begging Him to take his life because he’d had enough. He didn’t leave out that Moses killed a man and tried to cover it up, or that Abraham and his wife stopped believing in what they were promised.
He wants us to know that even good people make mistakes, that even people He chose for His plans were imperfect. He knows us - our emotions, our mistakes, our problems, our thoughts - just as He knew them. He didn’t share only the good stuff and hide the bad stuff, because He knows being perfect is impossible for us!
Life is hard, it’s painful and beautiful. We screw up sometimes, we hurt others and ourselves, we are confused, and don’t understand how a God who loves us could allow suffering.
People might say, “If God is all powerful, and can do anything, why does evil exist?” Or they might say, “If God knows everything everyone is going to do and say, why would anyone bother with anything? If our lives are predetermined, nothing I do or pray for will make things change.” I will cover answers to these questions, but before I do I’d like you to know one very important thing…..
God does love us as we are. He wants to guide us through our struggles that seem impossible to overcome. But He is not of this world, He is Spirit (not male or female, but both and more). He has unique ways to communicate with us. He creates a way that we will be able to understand. It can be hard to learn how listen.
By learning the culture and the meaning of metaphors from that time our understanding broadens and can touch our hearts the way His words were meant to.
If a word doesn't make sense look up that word in either Hebrew for the Old Testament or in Greek for the New Testament. You'll be amazed how the meaning behind even the simplest word is lost in translation!
This is an example of how looking for the meaning behind words or phrases in the Bible can help bring a new understanding to something that may have been confusing.