18. April 2012 · 1 comment · Categories: Faith

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There are times when life is so much harder than I expect. I am unclear as to why I am caught by surprise each time. I’ve known since I was a child that life isn’t easy, and the only hope is to work with what you have. Nevertheless, I am often caught unaware by the complexities of life.

Faith, as you know, can be a tricky thing for me. Sometimes it takes effort to remember what I believe and why I believe. I tend to want a ‘genie’ kind of God when things get hard. The last few weeks have been a reminder that He doesn’t work that way, and it’s really ticked me off. There are a couple of situations where I really feel like God should step in and straighten things out. The people involved in one situation are deserving of grace – and the people involved in the other situation are deserving of mercy – you know, in my opinion. But it seems the harder I, and others, pray, the more stuck the situation gets.

So I got righteously indignant about the whole thing. I thought, “Why bother? If You are a caring God, now would be the time to show it.”
Silence greeted me – as I’m sure it should – and so I doubted, again.

I really really dislike doubt. I know this is not a unique feeling, but I just want to know – 100% know. I will give you a billion pounds of faith if you can just take away the need for it. Please?

I do believe in God. I can’t always tell you why. I can’t explain suffering. I don’t know with certainty what happens after we die but I believe we go on with a relationship with God. I believe this is possible because of Jesus’s life and death and life again. I believe this on faith and sometimes I know it in the depth of my being. I believe this sometimes because the alternative is to scary and hopeless.

I believe we live in a broken world and God does not intervene in situations in the way we expect – not very often anyway. I believe there is a larger plan that is progressing as it should. I trust our prayers influence the many alternatives that fit within the plan. I believe in prayer, even when it seems like nothing is happening. Something is always happening.

Something is always happening but still my faith waivers.

You see, It is hard to take my will out of my view.

It is hard to step back and humble myself with the knowledge that my opinion is severely limited by my knowledge.

It is hard to remember that God loves the people I pray for more than I can even comprehend.

It is hard to remember that He weeps for them too.

It is hard to remember that just because I believe a situation can be resolved, doesn’t mean that it should be resolved.

It’s hard to believe in an all knowing and powerful God that doesn’t intervene in things that break my heart.

These things are hard and yet I believe. I know that God is in the middle of the situation. I know this because of the many prayers that are being spoken daily and asking Him into it. I know because of the courage and grace that is being demonstrated every day by those in the middle of these situations.

I know because I know my God. He’s better than I am, and He’s always right. Something is happening and I try so hard to rest in that. More often than not it is not a restful rest, but more a forced reminder, “Rest Julie!” Try that when you want to sleep tonight, just yell at yourself to rest and see what happens.

What I tend to have trouble remembering is that good comes out of bad. Every trial and every pain has the potential for love and beauty and growth. The miracle I pray for may have already happened in these situations. The intervention I seek may be internal and unobservable to everyone but God. Faith isn’t the belief that everything goes my way, it’s the belief that there is a right way – and everything goes the right way.

Finally I hear a whisper, “Julie, rest.” And I find I can.

Postscript
Thanks for joining me on this virtual journey. I can’t explain how God uses this public profession of my failings and doubt to heal me, but He does. I like admitting, to whomever is reading this, the doubts that I used to hide in my heart. I like being known even when it is the not so pretty parts of me. Writing publicly both forces me to be more honest than a private journal, and also challenges me to be more honest… sometimes it is easier to hide from yourself than others. I know that I’m still not as transparent as I want the courage to be – but I hope what I am able to expose is read by someone who can, at a minimum, say, “Well, I guess I’m not alone.” None of us want to be alone, especially in the fragile times of life.

  • The perfect picture for your blog tonight! What a sweet, fragile reminder that when those seeds seem to be blown away to disappear, they are really just scattered so that they grow in new places.

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