On Monday last week, I was feeling good about life. It seemed we were in a good place after a few recent setbacks.
Tuesday evening we were blindsided as if an 18-wheeler had crossed the center line, scraped the entire right side of our car and the impact forced us off the road into the ditch of the median.
Sometimes we have days in the ditch, sometimes it’s weeks, sometimes it’s a much longer season of months or years.
Tuesday night, as my insides churned and my emotions ricocheted, I typed out these words because I was very disappointed with God. This was His fault it seemed.
Disappointed with God
I feel as if you don’t see what’s happening
or do you not care that we are experiencing this?
I know differently, I know the truth,
still believe the truth.
But I sure can’t feel any assurance of Your presence at this moment.
I have felt this kind of disappointment before,
this is not the first time,
so I should have a backup, some verse that worked before.
But I feel just as bewildered as every other time.
I’m really trying to live for you
I’m working hard to make a difference in people’s lives
I’m not wasting my life with things you list in your Word as bad;
Carousing, drunkenness, gossip.
Living for you feels really hard.
It’s hard work; full of plagues of all kinds,
people who disappoint and fail,
ideas that seems like good ones
that even seem blessed by You
but they fall flat.
Nothing seems easy in the Christian life, right now.
Not surrender, not faith, not prayer, not peace or your promised rest.
What am I missing, Lord,
Show me what You want me to see,
to learn, to know.
I always want to blame, in my flesh, to find someone or something at which to direct my “righteous anger.” But He reminds me there is so much more going on than I can see or know.
He calls me to surrender every day, multiple times every day, even when I can’t know why or what He is doing. It’s the essence of faith after all.
Days have passed. Time has softened the initial blow, but the week has remained checkered with hard stuff. Thursday night our internet, email, TV all went out! Someone shot the line with a gun and blew up the fiber optics. Go figure! So I went to Starbucks to get my writing done. It could be a lot worse.
God is still on His throne I remembered by His Spirit whisper. I am living in a world full of imperfect people who make mistakes, usually not intentionally with evil plans for me. I make lots of mistakes too. Thank You, Lord, for grace. We have an enemy of our souls who loves to disrupt and bring discouragement as often as he is allowed. Thank You, Lord, that You restrain him more than I will ever know.
And You remind me that I am limited, I can’t do all things. I have to settle for less. Recognizing that reality is never pleasant. But You are not and never will be limited!
And He continues to remind me He is the only ONE who can work good out of all things. It is His great delight. He loves taking our messes and making something good out of them. That knowledge gives me comfort.
So I thanked Him and chose to trust Him with the mess we dealt with all last week that wasn’t our doing. It has given us the opportunity to show grace and love and generosity and that has been fun actually. To choose to do good feels so right.
I asked at the beginning of this verbal processing if this series of disappointments was God’s fault. Decidedly the answer is no. What we experienced was all human error. Could God have overruled and stopped the mistakes? Yes, He could have, but in His infinite wisdom and plan He didn’t, and I choose to trust Him with what I don’t know or understand.
What about you? I wonder, what are you facing that has been an unhappy interruption, a mistake made by someone you trusted that is now costing you? Or worse, there have been shootings again, package bombs, and the elections are next week. Do you feel the whole world is being disrupted, turned upside down? We have so little control. But if you know Jesus as Savior you know the only Someone who has all control!
Give thanks with me, that You, Lord, never change which means You are always trustworthy, always present, and always at work with our good and Your glory in mind! You alone are the stability of our times!