by Paige K. Slighter
“Many of the lessons I have learned about God from Woodland Hills have helped me get in touch with the presence of Jesus in my life and be at a place of peace in my faith.”
Kate is a local listener from Edina, MN who grew up “loving and adoring God” as a friend. As a little girl, she spent a lot of time writing to him in her journals. She said, “Despite protesting confirmation classes and being the only sibling to not move through the family tradition, we still met on the regular.” In her mind, she didn’t need a certificate to prove that she had God in her heart.
It wasn’t until her early 20s, after the birth of her third child, that she began questioning the character of God. She started experiencing overwhelming anxiety and wrestling with the presence of evil in the world. Her biggest concern was protecting her children from suffering. She said, “The language of the faith I once had slipped through my fingers, leaving me with less certainty.”
She remembers asking her brother, a Bible teacher, how God could still be in control. She said, “How can this make sense? The children diagnosed with and dying of cancer, the suicides, the tragedies, people dying too soon and unjustly, all of the unbearable pain?” His response turned everything around for Kate. He said, “God doesn’t have his hand on the trigger.” These words gently shifted her mindset and inspired deeper reflection on how she viewed God. She thought, “If God’s hand is not on the trigger, maybe he’s the one scooping me up and placing me on solid ground. Maybe God is on the side of healing, resurrection and life.”
As she began her journey to discovering more of God, she had a lot of reconstruction to do in her faith. What she learned at Woodland helped her wrestle with some difficult topics. She said, “Woodland gave me theological tools to examine how I was subconsciously painting the mental image I hold of my Creator, and helped me to thoroughly repaint God as the character of Jesus.” Through this discovery, she was able to see God as “wholly compassionate.” This brought her incredible peace.
It’s so amazing to see God at work in Kate’s life through her powerful story of reconstruction.
Are you struggling with your picture of God? Imagine This is a recent sermon on how Kingdom people can live with freedom if they can begin to adopt a mental image of our unsurpassably beautiful God.