God, I have—we all have—been taught so many different things about You. They can’t all be true. Here is one: You make bad things happen to punish us. Is that true?

You have been taught that I Am a God of suffering, that I afflict My Children to test or punish them. I have much to say about this.

But let Me begin with this: My Heart is to bless My children, to lavish My Love upon humanity. There are consequences for bad behavior or bad choices, and people misinterpret those consequences as My punishment. Even genetic or environmental illnesses come about because of ill-thought choices.

No, My Will is to see each of My children grow as Jesus grew: “in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.” What does that mean? It means growing mentally, physically, spiritually and emotionally. Growing in relationship to the earth, to your own body, to Me as your God, and to others around you. It’s another way of saying, growing in Love.

What gardener wants any of his flowers to wilt? What farmer wants any of his crops to fail? What rancher wants any of his animals to sicken and die? How can you possibly think I Am less than any earthly farmer or gardener or rancher or shepherd? Am I not the Good Shepherd? Do I not give good gifts?