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God's Loving Betrayal
by Brent Curtis & John Eldredge

Everyone has been betrayed by someone, some more profoundly than others. Betrayal is a violation that strikes at the core of our being; to make ourselves vulnerable and entrust our well-being to another, only to be harmed by those on whom our hopes were set, is among the worst pain of human experience.

Sometimes the way God treats us feels like betrayal. We find ourselves in a dangerous world, unable to arrange for the water our thirsty souls so desperately need. As I spoke with a friend about her painful life, how reckless and unpredictable God seems, she turned and with pleading eyes asked the question we are all asking somewhere deep within: "How can I trust a lover who is so wild?"

Does God have a good heart? When we think of God as Author, the Grand Chess Player, the Mind Behind it All, we doubt his heart. As Melville said, "The reason the mass of men fear God and at bottom dislike him is because they rather distrust his heart, and fancy him all brain, like a watch."

The Author lies behind, beyond. His omniscience and omnipotence may be what create the drama but they are also what separate us from him. Power and knowledge don't qualify for heart. We root for the hero and heroine, even come to love them, because they are living IN the drama. They feel the heartache, they suffer loss and summon courage, and shed their own blood in their struggles against evil. What if? Just what if we saw God not as Author but as the central character IN the larger story? What could we learn about his heart?

When we feel that life is finally up to us it becomes suffocating. When we are the main character, the world is so small there's barely room to move. It frees our souls to have something going on before us that involves us, had us in mind, yet doesn't depend on us or culminate in us, but invites us up into something larger. Once upon a time we lived in a garden; we lived in the place for which we were made. There were no Arrows, only beauty. There is beauty, and we so long for it to last; we were made for the Garden. But now there is affliction also, and that is because we live East of Eden. The Arrows seems like the truest part of life, but they are not. The heart of the universe is still perfect love.

But when we see God as the Hero of the story and consider what he wants for us, we know one thing for certain: We affect him. We impact the members of the Trinity as truly as they do each other. It is only when we see God as the Hero of the larger story that we come to know his heart is good.

Taken from The Sacred Romance by Brent Curtis & John Eldredge