Thursday, November 19, 2009

Finding Hope All Over Again

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Yesterday I was sharing with someone about my spiritual condition a year ago. Last November I entered a black hole where I spent several months. I described it as a time when I had lost all hope in God. But I realize it was more a time of finding true hope in God.

I have been a Christian my whole life--since I was a little girl. So, I really don't remember of time of not having faith in God. I trusted God for lots of things, and life was good. But the last five years, life has not been so good.

Last November, people kept telling me to remember that God was in control. Well, if He was in control, it sure didn't look like He was doing a very good job. My daughter was dead, my son was struggling with an addiction so powerful, I felt like I was helplessly watching him die a slow, painful death, and my granddaughter was in a foster home 2,000 miles away. How could God be in control and still allow my family to suffer so deeply? A year ago, I was struggling in my faith. I had to decide whether I was going to continue to follow this God who was allowing me to be broken so deeply.

For about four months, I argued with God. I was angry with him. I asked him where he had been the afternoon the car my daughter was riding in was hit with such force that it was almost unrecognizable. I wanted to know what was keeping him from healing my son. And on top of it all, how could he let my granddaughter to continue to sit in a foster home so far away instead of moving the court system to allow her to come and live with us.

"Where are you, God!? Why won't you move on my behalf? I have covered my children with prayer since before they were born. I continued to cover them everyday when they went to school. I have trusted you my whole life and you have let me down!" Those were the kinds of prayers I was praying, and some of my friends wanted to keep their distance so they wouldn't get struck by the lightning bolt that God would surely send my way for questioning him so vehemently.

And yet, God was not moved. He didn't strike me with a lightning bolt. He wept with me. And he sang over me. He understood my pain and frustration. But he didn't budge. He knows the plans he has for me and they are plans for good and not for evil. My attempts to manipulate him to do things my way didn't work. He was and continues to be unmovable in what he is doing in my life and in the lives of my son and granddaughter. He has already completed his work in my daughter.

As I began to hear from God and sense his nearness, even as I shook my fist in his face, I fell in love with him all over again. I don't understand him, I can't see the end result, I wish it didn't have to be this way, but I trust my heavenly father. I trust him in the midst of circumstances that seem insurmountable--painful beyond survival. But God walks with me every day. He cares for me in my pain. He doesn't completely relieve it, but he comforts me. And that is my unswerving hope.

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I would love to hear from you! Let me know what you think and how I can pray for you. Most of us are carrying some pretty heavy baggage and the good news is, you don't have to carry it alone! You can lay it at the feet of Jesus, and sometimes we need help just letting go of our baggage and not picking it up again. We're in this together!