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Eyes of the Father: Discipline can help our faith grow
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Cole came to me crying. This in itself is not unusual. Cole cries at a lot of things. If he gets in trouble. If Chloe says or does something mean to him. When he has to go to bed.

This time it wasn't trouble, Chloe or bedtime. This time it was Mommy.

He ran up, threw his arms around my neck and burrowed into that soft spot just below my collarbone.

After giving him a few seconds, I pulled him out of my shoulder and asked him what was wrong. Through hitching breaths he told me "Mommy is mean!"

Knowing that I was going to need more information than that, I pressed him for details. After what seemed like an eternity, the story that emerged was this: Amy was about to go somewhere with the kids. She sent Cole to his room to put his shoes on. When he came out of his room, he was wearing the shoes he wanted to wear, not the ones Amy told him to wear. She sent him back to his room to change, a decision which he opposed.

It took a few minutes to get him calm enough to talk to. I tried to explain to him that Mommy isn't mean, nor does Mommy want anything bad to happen to him (another accusation he made in the midst of all the crying).

I told him that despite what he may believe, Mommy wants what's best for him. How could he possibly think anything differently?

Yet this is what some people think about God. Something happens in their lives. Sometimes it's a big thing like the loss of a job or the death of a loved one, while at other times it's something rather small — like Cole and his choice of shoes. Whatever it is, things don't go their way. What is their response?

They blame God. They accuse him. They claim that he doesn't love them or that he's out to get them.

This couldn't be further from the truth. God loves his children. Sometimes he disciplines his children, but he does this out of love, not hatred (Hebrews 12:6).

At other times, things happen that affect us negatively and cause us to struggle. God doesn't cause them, but he can use them to grow our faith (Romans 5:3-5).

What we should do in those instances is resist the temptation to accuse him and rely on him to help us through.

Parrish Myers is a local minister. His column appears biweekly in Sunday Life and on gainesvilletimes.com/life.

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