I was reading a blog post the other day and it was a letter to God. This man’s friend has a child who is very ill and the writer was so frustrated that none of his prayers were being answered. He said he has been defending God to the parents of the sick child but he confessed that inwardly he isn’t as sure of God’s love and power as he was proclaiming.
It reminded me of some of David’s psalms – where he pours out his heart to God.
Why do you let the people perish?
Why do you let evil prosper?
Where are you when it hurts?
Can you hear me?
Are you even there?
But one thing you often find in these psalms is… a ‘but’ or ‘yet’. I’m paraphrasing again but you often read…
Things are crap, but I will praise you.
My world is falling apart, yet I will trust you.
This is missing from the blog post. It ended with no answers, just more questions.
I can safely say that I’ve spent the bulk of my Christian life totally confused about what God is up to. I don’t have a crisis of faith, in the sense that I have no doubt that He is there – and I believe the Bible and the glowing character reference it gives God. But like me, the writer of that blog post feels as if, verses that say things like, ‘your ways are not our ways and your thoughts are not our thoughts’ are just not enough.
I was going to challenge the guy though and suggest that he should do a bit more trusting and a bit less complaining. But I didn’t and I’m glad I didn’t. At that moment I remembered an email I’d send to a Christian a while ago, I mentioned I was struggling with some stuff and asked for prayer. The reply came that I should stop complaining and rejoice in the victory that God has given me.
I will probably never ask that person for prayer again and or share a struggle with them. Even if they are right and I’m wrong – the response did nothing to warm my cold heart that day.
It’s very easy to thump someone on the shoulder and tell them to rejoice in their sufferings. Sometimes too easy. A valley usually only looks pretty when you’re viewing it from the top. When you’re down deep in it, the view is never as good.
These verses in Habakkuk 3 always come to mind when I’m pondering stuff like this. And I’m sure I’ve shared them before…
Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
Even though it looks like I have nothing to thank you for, I’m going to thank you anyway. I actually do believe that because of who He is, God is worthy of our praise regardless of my state of mind or heart.
But my state of mind and heart sometimes makes it harder to praise him.
I suppose I was affected by the blog post cos of the empty questioning that sounded like it would never be answered. I was hoping for the ‘but’ and ‘yet’ at the end of the post and it never came.
That doesn’t meant that I can’t add it tho…
I really do thank God for His unconditional love!
If I was in charge I’d have given up on me a long time ago!