I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth. It would be easier to stop there. We’re here now. Let’s make the most of it. The thing is, if God made us in 6 days, but knew all along we’d rebel against Him, fall into sin, and drag His entire creation down with us…why would He do it in the first place? Why make us if He knew all this would happen?
Love. Love needs an object. God is love, and that has consequence. He made us in order to care for us. That only raises harder questions.
What does this mean?
I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my members, my reason and all my senses, and still takes care of them.
He also gives me clothing and shoes, food and drink, house and home, wife and children, land, animals, and all I have. He richly and daily provides me with all that I need to support this body and life.He defends me against all danger and guards and protects me from all evil.
All this He does only out of fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me. For all this it is my duty to thank and praise, serve and obey Him.
This is most certainly true.
Pick out the most important part of the explanation. It’s hard to miss the giant list of stuff we’re supposed to have. It would probably be the things in that list we want most. It most certainly is the couple of things in there I don’t have, but someone else does. If there is a loving God, why does it look like this? It’s not fair.
Usually when we deal with God we try to measure His favor by how much stuff we have. Usually we come up short of the full list, either the Catechism’s or our own. It’s easy to find someone who has more than me. It’s easy to find reasons that’s not fair.
Love isn’t about what’s fair. If you’ve changed “Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” into “Come to me all who have their lives together and I will give you money”, there’s a reason your religion isn’t working.
The point of the article isn’t the list of things God gives you, it’s that He does it without any merit or worthiness in you. It isn’t in the list, but the title. I don’t believe in stuff. I believe in the Father. The Father isn’t fair. That’s probably good. He loves you, and so He takes care of you as He knows best, without any merit or worthiness in you at all.
Claiming God can’t possibly be a loving God because He doesn’t give you everything you want is every bit as childish as a kid screaming in the store because his parents don’t buy him everything he wants. It’s every bit as ridiculous as the kid going to school the next day and claiming his parents don’t love him or he’d have every toy and piece of candy he demanded.
Children of God isn’t a compliment, it’s a promise. God loves you so much He insists on being your Father. He loves you sinners without any merit or worthiness in you, and will take care of you as His own family. Not because you’ve earned it. Not because it’s fair. Because He loves you.
This love doesn’t measure who earns. It just gives. When sinners rebel against God and destroy the creation He loves, when they attack each other, the other kids who God loves, He’s allowed to be mad. But this same love sends forth His only begotten Son to redeem you. This same love would rather be in a world broken by sin with you than in a perfect heaven without you. That isn’t fair, but it is good.
So He becomes your merit and worthiness. He sends His Son to redeem you, to earn not just your salvation, but even your care in this life by bearing all the same loss and suffering and death we fear so much. to bring you through it and unto life. The Father sent the Son to die upon the cross that you may live. And in doing so, He not only paid for your salvation, free from the damage sin does, but even paid for all that we need in this body and life, that He may dwell with us here until the day we finally see Him there.
I believe in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth. I believe I have a Father who loves me so much that He’d rather be here with me in misery than in heaven without me, even if He has to pay the price for me to get me there. The Father isn’t fair, but He is love.