Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday ~ My doubts: the Grand Reveal

I stand on the top of a silent mountain. I have been lost in this wilderness for days and weeks, wandering, trying to find my way out. No towns. No roads. No sign-posts to help me find my way. No map that makes sense.  Exhausted. Thirsty. Starving. Desperate. I stand on the top of this mountain, close to the sky.  And I cry out in a broken voice for help. I stretch out my hands, up, up, up. I fall to my knees as my strength fails me. My screams for deliverance reverberate against the mountain walls around me. Echoing my desperation. Suddenly, the sky goes black around me. I am plunged into darkness, multiplying my disorientation. I’m no longer just lost. I now can’t see.  So much for praying.

You’ve been praying for her for months. Ever since she took that first step away from God. You’ve prayed for her as she moved out. Prayed as she started dressing less and less. Prayed as she started drinking. Prayed as you saw her party lifestyle on Facebook. Prayed as you knew she began sleeping around. You’re heart breaks. You keep praying. But time goes by and nothing ever gets better. God doesn’t seem to do anything. So much for praying.

She was broken. Body, soul, spirit, heart. Especially heart. Ever since the day he said “I’m sorry” and walked away. Everything hurt. She couldn’t breathe anymore. She prayed for grace. Strength. Hope. But then he started being mean, acting like she’d never existed at all. Things got worse. Life only got harder to bear. So much for God’s help. So much for praying. 

Thing can't get worse. It's been a domino effect, one hard situation after another. You're at the end of your strength. Can't take anymore. Tears can't fix anything, but in your helplessness, the tears come out of shear desperation. You begin to pray for help. But then the phone rings with the news of yet another catastrophe. And your find out how you were wrong. Things could get worse. Because they did. So much for praying.

I hesitate to write, because my thoughts and observations seem as yet incomplete. But learning the whole picture takes a lifetime, so I’d better write. The four scenarios above are ones we’ve probably all faced to some extent. Maybe we’ve not been lost on a wilderness mountain, but we’ve all struggled with really hard situations where we didn’t know what to do…but it seemed like God didn’t help us out like we needed; in fact, the situation just got worse. Most of us know people who’ve walked away from God and are still walking in sin, even though we’ve prayed and wept over them. It begins to look like God’s just going to leave them there. We’ve all had a broken heart, whether or not it was through a broken relationship. The heart breaks over many things. We've all faced times when everything went wrong and you didn't think you could cope any longer. We’ve all cried out for God’s help and deliverance…but answers didn’t seem to come and things only got worse.

God lets us down. That’s the way it looks to us, the only explanation that seems to make sense. I know this from experience, and it was a time-frame of several years when God literally seemed completely absent from my life. I prayed for His help. Some things didn’t change at all. Some things got worse. Nothing got better. I’ll be honest and tell you that even to this day, I have niggling doubts in the back of my mind about God. He said He’d never leave or forsake…so where was He? He said He’d give grace to those who ask…why did I feel like I had to battle it all alone? He says that whatever we ask in His name, He answers…how come the person I prayed for never changed?  How come on those hundreds of times I was literally on my face begging God to take away my despair and depression, to help me to see life as full of hope again…that not a cloud of darkness moved, remaining heavy and oppressive?  I’ll tell you straight. To my eyes, God let me down.

Over time (months and years), things eventually ironed themselves out. Time does heal most things. But I still feel/felt like God couldn’t be trusted to help me when I needed Him. His promises of constancy seemed like pie-crust promises.

This all sounds pretty sacrilegious. Kinda shocking, really. Is Kellie really saying God let her down? Is Kellie really saying she doesn’t trust in God anymore? Yes. That’s what I’m saying. But I’m not saying that I’m right. In fact, I’m learning how wrong I am.

{to be continued}

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