When We Die… by Pablo Giacopelli
By Pablo Giacopelli
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By Pablo Giacopelli
I was listening a short while ago at an Evangelist share the Gospel according to his perspective. He spoke for a while and towards the end of his time he started to share about this movie that God is going to show to everyone. He spoke how everyone would get to see all the bad things we did both in public and in private.
I must admit that as I listened to him I felt a blanket of shame attempt to cover the whole of my being. So strong was the feeling that it made me shift my position on my seat. As I turned off the TV I began to contemplate what I had just heard. I began to recall how I once long ago subscribed to this very heavenly movie theatre experience and perspective. Yet today what I once vociferously supported, didn't quite sit the right way within me.
Please understand that I get where the Evangelist was coming from and what He was trying to communicate however the more I listened to him the less I wanted to know about this God that seemed more interested in burning me up and shaming me than in loving me and telling me how precious I was.
He'll Sit Beside Us
You see today, if there is going to be this so called movie at the end of our lives, I believe that instead of God watching it from his throne seat and me from the sea of glass before it He will instead sit next to me like a Father sits with his child. He will put his arm around me and He will say here take a look at this I have a surprise for you. Suddenly the tape of my life will begin to roll right in front of us and He will begin by saying "Oh this was an amazing moment remember it Pablo?" followed by "Oh what about this moment, remember how you trusted Me and I came through for you. It was so good when you chose to listen to My voice through the sunset and not the voice of others that told you it would not happen. What a moment that was hey son?" or "That was a hard moment remember how much that hurt and how lonely you felt, but look now what I was doing within you while you were crying" or perhaps "Oh and here check this one out. Look what was happening while you kept writing those blogs that you thought were making no difference. Here check out Harry. Take a look at the life transforming moment I had with him after he finished reading that blog you struggled to write that sunny day in Israel"
As the flick comes to an end I am sure I will look at him and I will ask "Dad that was amazing! Those were all amazing moments I had with you. So many I realized and so many well I just didn't. Thank you for also showing me the difficult and painful moments where yes I felt lonely and rejected. But whatever happened to all those moments when I was sinning and falling short. Those times I chose other things and others to try and satisfy what only you could. Where did those go? And today more than ever I believe the reply will come and He will say, "Oh those? Yeah well My grace took care of those. My blood edited (blotted) them out of the tape…"
Remember, the cross was meant to show us all along how ferociously loved we are instead of protecting us from a deranged God that enjoys destroying what He lovingly created.
The Israelites left Egypt where they were slaves for several hundred years. As they came out to the desert God waited for them longing to woo them much the same way that a man woos a woman during courtship. Things unfortunately started to go South very quickly when the Israelites did what most of us normally do which is to put the face of Pharaoh (who/what we live to please) over the face of God. This action implants in us an erroneous view of God which means that we try to relate with him much the same way we did/do with the one who has wounded us the most. In their case, Pharaoh, with whom they knew no relationship was possible apart from one that revolved around hard labor. He gave them their marching orders and they performed them. As long as they did this all was well and they were allowed to survive.
Not long ago I sat listening to someone speak about their relationship with God and the way He involved himself in this persons life. As I sat there I saw the face of yet another individual light up when he began to explain to me how God paid him from time to time, in an amazing way, a visit in his life. Inevitably every time I hear something like this I am led to ask the person where was God all those other times when he was supposedly not visiting them in an amazing way? And believe me that while I understand what people mean I see this picture as being the same as someone saying that within their marriage the only time they are aware of their partner is when they are having sex with them.
God says do not harden your hearts – I have been meditating about this for a little while now in the hope of being able to understand in a practical way what this might look like and how it impacts our lives when it happens. I began for some reason to think about muscles and how they work and are renewed. As I sat there I tensed the main muscle on my leg and kept it tense for a short while. As I did this I noticed that even though this was a voluntary movement it nevertheless rendered my muscle useless as in this state of tension nothing could enter nor exit from it. I also noticed that unless I relaxed it the muscle would cramp up and remain hard and in pain until treated.