Have you ever been in a state of total confusion and lack of understanding in a situation? Your brain just can’t wrap itself around what is going on. You are so confused and completely disoriented by what just happened. Your mind is filled with so many questions and doubts and you want your questions answered but you know deep down inside that there is no answer that makes sense. That is how my life was for years. It seemed like I went from one assault to another and I didn’t have time to even take a breath. When I look back, I can’t believe I survived it! There were many times I didn’t think I would. I felt like a ball being tossed around and being dropped over and over again.
I am sure that a lot of you can relate to that feeling of being tossed around. It isn’t fun and you can’t wait for it to be over. But there is something that I want to tell you that I have learned the hard way. Quit fighting God in the process and let Him do His thing. I always seemed to end up black and blue instead of free of bruises because I felt like I had to help God instead of getting out of His way. I was stupid to think that my ideas or suggestions would even be remotely better than His. I thought I could help out the situation with my expertise and realized I was sadly mistaken.
I have been slapped in the face lately with the reminder that little ol’ me has no control over the way anyone else acts. I also have no control over what anyone else says, but I do have control over how I act and what I say. I actually want everyone out there to behave themselves. I want everyone to be nice to each other and treat everyone with kindness. I guess I watched too many Disney movies growing up! But, in those movies there is always evil lurking and the sweet princess has to find a way to overcome evil with good. I think it was a brilliant move on Walt Disney’s part to show us that there is evil in this world and we need to overcome it with good!
The reason why I bring all of this up is to say that sometimes life can suck! Yes, I said that word! I don’t normally use it and I am sure my daughters are in shock right now and most of my friends are too. But that word is the one I want to use. Life can knock the breath out of you and send you to your knees. You are caught off guard and don’t know how to even handle it. Your brain is reeling and you don’t know what to do. There is so much confusion and doubt and fear and anger. You are blindsided because you didn’t see it coming. And after you have time to collect all your thoughts, all you can say is “Why?”
Well that is the million-dollar question isn’t it? I can’t tell you how many times I have asked that question. Sometimes that question has been answered and sometimes it hasn’t. I have had to wrestle with God over many issues. But, there is one thing that I have learned and it is that I refuse to give up on God. I made my mind up several years ago that God allowed all those things to happen to me and I am better off doing life with Him than without Him. There is a man named Job in the Bible that loses his flocks, his possessions, his children, and his health. His wife gets so fed up with all of it and says, “Curse God and die!” and Job responds with, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Job 2:9-10
That verse has always stuck with me. I have had many losses in my life, but if I am going to accept good from God, then I also need to accept the bad. Andrew Murray gives a beautiful illustration of how we are to respond to God. “Bow quietly before God, just to remember and realize who He is, how near He is, how certainly He can and will help. Just be still before Him, and allow His Holy Spirit to waken and stir in your soul the childlike disposition of absolute dependence and confident expectation. Wait upon God as a living Being, as the living God who notices you.”
It took me years to realize that God noticed me. I had to work really hard to see Him as a loving father who cares about me. He has allowed things to happen to me, but He has also blessed me and given me the strength to endure. When I cried out to Him, He was there to listen to me. He shows up for me by working in my life even though I want to run and hide and escape from the world. He gives me the strength I need every single day to wake up and move forward. And even though many of those days have been filled with many challenges, He is moving me closer to Him.
Even when things are crumbling around me and I am shaking in fear, I have to remind myself that I refuse to give up on God. I refuse to let all the suffering keep me from loving Him. I refuse to let Satan have victory in my life. I refuse to be swayed to let someone or something become more important than my relationship with Christ. I have to talk to myself a lot! I have to get mad at the things that try to tempt me to doubt the One who created me and gave me life. If I claim to be His child, then I must remember His words. “For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:9-10 I have to tell myself these words over and over again. I have to focus on Him and not what is happening and that is hard thing for me to do! I am so envious of people that seem to have it all together and trust so easily. It is a battle for me!
Let’s go back to Job for a minute. Job learned that there aren’t always answers to our why questions. God showed Job that He is in control and He is working on our behalf even if we don’t understand what He is doing. It isn’t His job to explain Himself to us. It is our job to trust Him when things don’t make sense. I am preaching to myself here! We need to remember that God loves us and shows up for us no matter what happens. Whatever He allows to happen, He is there to help us get through it. Job finally rested in the fact that God was in control. May we all rest in God and refuse to give up on Him! Until next time dear friends……