Here's a question to consider: "When was God at God's best?" If I were to ask this question at a Bible Study, I'm sure I would hear a variety of answers. Someone might say: "When God created everything from nothing." Other great events of salvation history would surely be mentioned: the Red Sea, the giving of the 10 commandments at Sinai, the birth of the baby Jesus in Bethlehem, the multiplication of the loaves and fish, and so on. I imagine that the Resurrection of Jesus would get the most mentions. What a glorious, glorious moment in the history of humanity!
But, the truth is, God's best moment was humanity's worst moment: the Cross of Christ, the crucifixion of God's Son, who proclaimed "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do." This is God as God's best!
This is Jesus putting into practice his sermon-words, "To you who are willing to listen, I say, love your enemies! Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who harm you."
I once read a story about a child who was doing history homework and asked her mother, "How did World War II begin?" Her Mom answered, "Well honey, WWII began when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor." Her Dad was in the same room and chimed in, "That wasn't it! It started when Germany invaded Poland."
Annoyed by the intrusion the mother said, "She didn’t ask you. She asked me." The father retorted, "True, but I teach her the facts." Then the mother added: "Why do you always interfere? Who asked you anyway?" They went back and forth like this, until their child said, "Thank you both. I think I just learned how wars begin."
It is God's will that there BE no wars. It is God's will that people live in harmony, peace, and love. But we fail.
One of my favorite quotations is: "Hurt people hurt people." It's so very natural for us to lash out at others when we're hurting. Hurting others when in pain provides a sort of relief. Yes, this is the natural way.
The supernatural way, the Jesus-Way, is to be sacrificial and unconditionally forgiving when pain strikes. When we're in pain and hurting, our divine calling is to love. Only in Christ are we able to live this way!
God was at God's best at the crucifixion of Jesus -- but ALSO in the moments of our lives when we rise above the pains and frustrations of life -- and we sacrifice, we serve, we love. It's a blessing for us to be such an active part of God's best moments!