Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When the World Caves in

Do you ever fee like the world is caving in on you? Do you ever feel like you are completely undone? That your insides have been ripped out and you are agonizingly floundering on the floor? I have come to know that feeling pretty well. I sit here, completely undone before the Lord. I feel like Job, sitting on my heap of ashes, dressed in sackcloth, scraping my boils with broken pottery as people tell me to just curse God and die. That's really tempting. I mean, how can a loving and just God sit around and do nothing as I sit and suffer? How can He sit back on His big comfortable throne and watch as people who love and follow Him are in agony? He must be pretty despicable to be able to do that, especially to people He supposedly loves. But, much like Job, I cannot and will not curse God and die. I can only say that I know that my Redeemer lives. Can I expect only blessings from God and not curses? Even if He were that awful tyrant, He would still deserve my praise. If He made everything and was all powerful and did not love me at all, He would deserve praise because of Who He is. Yet, that is not true. He is all powerful, and all knowing; the beginning and the end; the author and finisher of my faith; the very definition and origin of love; the only One who knows the entire story. He has me in His hand, even if all of the circumstance have stopped from seeing that that is exactly where I am. He is not far, but inside, outside, above, below, encircling every part. I just see the temporal, while He sees the finite and infinite. He wrote the story, and I am only playing a part. When He answers Job, He does so with a series of questions - where were you when I put the stars in their place? Told the oceans to come only so far? Hung the heavens, and created the earth? Where were you? How did I do it? You think the One who causes seasons and has a purpose for every plant, leaf, insect and animal is unaware of what's going on with His own children? Of course I am paraphrasing, but if you have never read that interaction - you should. We forget when we are battling the big scary monsters of this big scary world how very small all of it is in comparison to Him. We forget about His glory when we're met with struggles and confusion. We forget about His love, faithfulness and goodness when we're staring death and mourning in the face. But they are still there. Our circumstances don't change Him. Let me say that again (because I need to hear it) - our circumstances don't change Him. He is not scared by the threat of war. He is not worried over unemployment, the crashing dollar or the impending financial collapse. He is not intimidated by dictators or tyrants. He does not flinch at death. Nothing is a surprise to Him, and nothing is beyond His power or control. Why does He allow this suffering? - Because He is good. That doesn't make sense! How can suffering come from good? Because He sees what we don't. He knows what we could never fathom. I have often said that God sees everything at once from every perspective, while we can only see from our 2 small eyes and biased perception. He has a plan, and we are part of it. I am grasping for the Lord right now as my family faces yet another gut wrenching, horribly painful, and seemingly unfair trial. We are faced once again, in less than a year, with death and pain and heartbreak. We pray and believe for miracles, yet God seems to be silent. This is not true. God is not silent. He is lovingly rocking us in His arms as He strokes our hair and asks us to trust Him yet again. It's a struggle to trust Him, even when we know all of this about Him. It's a struggle to see through the pain and tears to His love and goodness. But that is faith, right? - Being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see (Heb. 11:1). So, I am sure that God is there, and certain that He is loving us and caring for us. I am hoping for a miracle and clinging to His truth. No matter the outcome of this trial - life or death, rejoicing or mourning - I will praise Him, because He is worthy of my praise. I will trust Him, because He is the only One I can run to. I will follow Him, because He is the only truth.

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