God is Big Enough

his_handsFive years ago, when my youngest daughter was two years old, we were playing on the floor. Though I am not necessarily one to play with dolls with anyone but my youngest asked and I couldn’t resist those blue eyes and red hair. So I was Ken and she was Barbie. As we played, I did not notice at the time but little things I was doing began to aggravate her. After all she was a two year old girl and knows how all men are supposed to act around a lady.

The more we played, the more her frustration grew. Finally, I noticed and decided the way to fix the situation was for Ken to give Barbie a kiss on the cheek. My attempt backfired in a most fantastic way. Ken’s gesture was the proverbial “straw”. She became very upset with me and said, “No, no Daddy! That is bad!” As she stormed off to tell mom, I sat there reasoning within myself, “Where did I go wrong?” My wife laughed and thought it was funny that my two year old got the best of me, but throughout the rest of the day, I thought about that interaction. Now, I am the type of guy that always looks for parallels that are applicable to life. Thankfully God knows this about me. I thought about my own anger and frustration and realized, it is more than a little likely that God is far more patient with us than we give him credit for.

In the exchange with my daughter, I could have chosen to become angry in return or even go so far as to physically correct her for becoming “belligerent” or “disrespectful” toward me. However, I consider myself a good father and one who wants to set a kind example for my four girls. There was no need to over react, she was only two years old and we were just playing. It floored me, as I thought of the implications this real life parable has regarding God’s goodness and character. Am I somehow more patient, kind, fatherly or forgiving than God? Certainly not! Although it may seem a little silly, but that one play date with my daughter has had a profound impact on how I perceive God.

I have known numerous soldiers, leaders, youth family members and educators who are at some level angry toward God. I have even found myself a time or two down right angry with Him. The reasons range from personal suffering, to loss of a loved one, to natural disasters, all the way to the evil in the world. For me I noticed there were certain times I wanted to own my anger and wear it like a combat patch or a specialty school badge. Psychologically, that means during those times I became indignant. In a sense, I was beginning to believe I was more just than God.

Recognizing my own character deficiencies, I turned to the Bible to see some of God’s character strengths:

-God is Spirit, John 4:24

-God is faithful, 1 Corinthians 1:9

-God is one, Galatians 3:20 & Deuteronomy 6:4

-God is just, 2 Thessalonians 1:6

-God is Light, 1 John 1:5

-God is Love, 1 John 4:8,16

I noticed, I have the capacity for some of these but I am not them. I have the ability to give, receive and demonstrate these characteristics but a total inability to own them. I am also, not anger. At times, it is as if anger comes upon me but I am not the personification of anger. When I own my anger, I am trying to personify something that I have no business entertaining.

patienceMy musings are only half of the parable. The other half is even if I do try to own my anger, become angry with God or indignant; He is big enough, God enough, and Creator enough to handle it. God is slow to anger, compassionate, forgiving, and merciful (Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18; Nehemiah 9:31; Psalm 86:5, Pslam 103:8, and Psalm 145:8)

Even though my daughter got the best of me by unknowingly creating a real life parable within our family, no one bests God. Just as I knew it was okay for my daughter to have her reaction, God knows it is okay for me to project my emotions toward Him. I am absolutely positive, He would rather be the one to “handle” mine and your anger than for us to keep carrying it around only to wind up eventually hurting those we love or others. I have learned, to own my relationship with God and not to rely on or be driven by emotional responses. God wants us to talk to Him. If we are mad, tell Him and whatever emotion you are feeling communicate it to God. You can trust God!

Five years later, my daughter and I still play together. She has learned to preempt my silliness and I have learned that soon, my daughter will be learning to trust her emotions with God just as she can trust them with me.

Mijikai Mason
Disclaimer: The thoughts and views published on the Veterans to Christ blog are those of Mijikai Mason and in no way are meant to represent the United States Army or the Armed Forces.

Bio: Mijikai Mason is an Ordained Southern Baptist minister and Chaplain in the United States Army. He has been in the Army for 26 years both as an enlisted Soldier and now as an Officer. He has been stationed at various bases in the United States and in United States Army Garrison Schweinfurt, Germany. He holds an undergraduate degree in Religion from the University of Mobile, a Master of Divinity degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary in Theology and Evangelism and a Master of Arts degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Webster University. Chaplain (MAJ) Mijikai Mason was selected by the Army in 2013, to become a Family Life Chaplain and began his service in this field starting 15 May 2015. He is the Deputy ESC Chaplain and Family Life Chaplain for the 593 Expeditionary Support Command at Joint Base Lewis McCord. He has deployed four times: Desert Storm (1991), Iraq twice (2005-2006; 2007-2008), and Afghanistan (2012-2013). He has a total of 42 months deployed in combat and logistics operations. Mijikai and his wife, Ashley, have been married for 17 years this May and live near Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington with their four daughters.