The next day, the gospel choir sang in chapel and I became lost in the music, lost in prayer. I found myself face to face with a small bit of God's glory and was completely overwhelmed. I did not know what to do except worship and sing and pray. While I was in this state of clearly recognizing God's truth, beauty, and power, He brought into my mind an image of complete suffering. This image was so strong that I can remember it even now.
While God's goodness remained above where I stood, I looked straight across from where I was and saw a small black child with shrunken arms, a bloated stomach and a hopeless look wandering about through a wasteland. There was no food and no hope. Those who cared could not help him to discover even the basic things needed for survival. He was going to die in a few hours.
Then I looked up at the perfect grandeur of God and could not understand how the two visions could exist at once. I began to cry because there was nothing I could do to help the child. Though I did not understand how such a thing completely opposite God's nature could occur, I knew it must somehow work. I further knew that when my heart broke for the child, God's heart broke even more so. But why didn't He do something? Or, why didn't I? What did I need to do?
Skipping life for the rest of the day, I returned to my dorm, shut off my phone, began to pray, and to read through Genesis. There I saw that God created everything good and the fall distorted things. I then moved to Ezekiel and was so shaken by what I was discovering that I fell into a fitful sleep from which I woke in prayer and returned for about six more hours.
Sometime in the late evening, I roused myself enough to continue reading through Ezekiel where I discovered a God who loved His people, but who loved His reputation more. Here was a God who spoke and hardened people's hearts so they couldn't hear Him. Here was a God who gave the prophets a false message to give the people who didn't truly seek Him. Here was the God who harassed, chased down, and destroyed those who turned away from Him and rejected His call to come back. But here also I found a God who did not forget His covenants with His people and who sent everything to them so that they or others might see and glorify Him.
After months of discovering a loving God, I was shocked by the cold-hearted nature and passionate anger described in the book of Ezekiel. I continued reading into the book of Daniel and saw the power of God demonstrated over the strongest Kingdoms of the world. Why didn't this God take care of the poor child I had seen earlier? I read part of Job – the last part about the way that people cannot understand the nature of what God does (Job 33 through 42).
And finally, I found myself in the book of Revelation looking at how the story would end. It was not until 2:00 am that my prayer found its answer.
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