Hello Disappointment…Come Meet Faith!

I think it’s pretty safe to say that all of us have experienced disappointment.  Anything from dissatisfaction in a meal, to not getting the job we wanted.  Sometimes we’re disappointed in another person or even life in general because it’s not turned out the way we had hoped.

Here’s what I’ve come to believe about the nonfulfillment of our wants and expectations:

Disappointments can either shake our faith or disappointments can meet our faith.

I’m reluctant to take you back to the story of Mary and Martha because it sometimes feels like an overused example in whether or not it’s more important to take care of the matters at hand or focus on Jesus.  Read Luke 10:38-42 to draw your own conclusion.  However, I find an interesting lesson in this passage of scripture that you might not guess as having something to do with disappointment.

Martha (which by the way, always makes me think of Martha Stewart—am I the only one?) naturally wanted to prepare for the guests who had come to her home.  I mean, come on…wouldn’t you be putting out the best place settings and food if Jesus was coming to your house???   I can honestly say that my first thought wouldn’t be to sit at His feet.  I would want him to feel welcome and provide him with the very best hospitality.  So, I get where Martha is coming from.  Yet at the same time, I admire Mary’s ability to focus on what was truly most important.

Here’s another thing I can relate to when it comes to Martha.  Doing all the work by myself.  Been there, done that.  It’s unnerving and seems pretty unfair.  Now here’s what I pull from the moment Martha complained to Jesus.  She was disappointed in him.  Don’t see it?  In verse 40 she says, “Don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?”

Clearly, she was expecting Jesus to tell Mary that it was time to get up and help your sister out.  Enough sitting around!  In Martha’s eyes, he didn’t seem to notice the sweat and effort being put into preparing for the visit of Jesus and his disciples.

Yet, I can’t help but pay careful attention to the way Martha addressed Jesus.  Although she was expressing disappointment by asking if he cared, she also demonstrated faith when she called him Lord.  The full statement from Martha reads like this:

“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!”

This is where I see disappointment meeting faith.  But it doesn’t always play out that way.  Sometimes, our disappointment can shake our faith.

If there is one area in my life where this has been the greatest battle, it’s in the raising of my children.  I don’t have bad kids, but I do have kids that have made bad decisions…which has definitely caused disappointment.

Sometimes, these circumstances shook my faith to a point that I almost lost it.  Disappointment that the Christian influences surrounding them didn’t produce the results I’d expected.  Disappointment that my prayers didn’t seem to make any difference.  Ever been there?  Maybe not with your kids but in some other area of life.  You’ve done your best—all in the name of Jesus—that it doesn’t seem right for things to go wrong.  You’ve sought God’s help in prayer, that you wonder if it was all just a big waste of time.

We can’t let disappointment shake our faith.  See, we can’t run from it because it’s part of life…yes, even if you are a believer.  We don’t get a special pass.  It’s unavoidable because we live in a fallen world, filled with fallen people.  What we can do is meet those disappointments with our faith.  That yes, we might feel let down…but it doesn’t detract from God’s sovereignty.  We might get treated unfairly…but God is just.  We may not see the light at the end of that long, dark tunnel…but God remains the Light of the World.

When discouragement comes knocking, answer the door and say:

“Hello disappointment.  Come meet faith!”

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It’s Not Personal…It’s Spiritual

I bit my tongue so many times, it’s any wonder blood didn’t drip from my mouth.  My ears were being harassed by yet another negative comment…an unkind word about someone else…a blatant lie.  Daily resisting the urge to make a sarcastic or snarky comeback.  Most days I was successful—but a person can only take so much.

So often when we’re dealing with a “difficult” person, we make it personal.  It’s easy to do…I get that.  Especially if the person has attacked your character or said something untrue about you.  But when we focus solely on what is or feels personal, we get sucked into responding the wrong way.  We get personal right back.   And let’s be honest, most times that means a less-than-godly response.

The week before Easter I was on spring break.  After several weeks of a very unpleasant and challenging work relationship, I was more than ready to be away from it.  My very first day off I laid down to take a nap (I don’t know if there any other fellow nappers out there…but oh my, nothing is better than a midday snooze).

 

Anyway, my thoughts immediately went to that work situation.  I was rehashing in my mind things that happened and started to feel angry all over again.  So much for taking a “break.”  In fact, I got so worked up that I skipped the nap to write a letter to that person.  My plan was to send it through email during the week so there would be time for reflection on what I had to say.  What did I hope to achieve?  To clear the air…to be honest about my feelings…and to open this person’s eyes to what was being done.

While my letter was appropriate, addressed the issues succinctly, and certainly made me feel better…almost immediately I knew not to send it.  I was going to hold onto it until I felt a release from God.  Well, that never happened.  Because as I spent the next few days seeking truth from God’s Word and praying very specifically about the situation, I gained a new perspective.

It’s not personal.  It’s spiritual.

God showed me how I was attempting to handle what was really a spiritual problem with personal methods.  Biting my tongue wasn’t enough.  Feeling justified in a comeback wasn’t the answer.  Writing a letter expressing my feelings wasn’t going to solve anything.

I had to come at this with the help of the Holy Spirit.  I had to stop seeing it as a personal assault on me and instead, as a spiritual attack.  Which makes perfect sense, especially considering this person not only has no faith in God…this individual doesn’t even believe in His existence.

While I’m still praying for the challenges I face in dealing with this person and how I respond…I’m focusing more of my efforts on praying for this person’s spiritual needs.   Anyone who spends the majority of their time lying, saying unkind things about others and just having a negative attitude in general is clearly a broken soul.

Once I stopped making this personal (all about me and the effects it was having on my day) and started making it spiritual (seeking God’s direction and guidance), it was no longer such a struggle to bite my tongue because it’s had less of an effect on me.  It’s no longer a fight to hold back the perfect comeback because it’s not worth damaging any positive effect I could have on this person.  And it’s not worth sending a letter that makes me feel better but doesn’t better the situation.

Dealing with a difficult person in your life?  Consider that maybe it’s not personal…that it’s spiritual and requires a Biblical, godly response.

Sinless or Sin Less?

Every morning during my prayer time, on the days I have to work, I specifically ask God to help with my mouth.  While I rely on Him for divine intervention, I’ve also come up with a way to reduce the chance of engaging in gossip or saying something negative.  I go into each day with a determination to say less.  This way my chance of saying something I shouldn’t is at least reduced.

Somehow, most days, I still end up in this place:

“I do not understand what I do.  For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.”

Romans 7:15

Can you relate?  Maybe it’s not your mouth that gets you in trouble.  But there’s probably something that you struggle with, despite every intention to win the battle.

Although I still have a ways to go, I can at least say this when it comes to my mouth—I sin less.  No, I’m not sinless, but there has been improvement.  Sometimes we have to remind ourselves of how far we have come.  Progress, no matter how big or small, is a step in the right direction.

In my earlier years as a believer, guilt was my constant companion.  I put a lot of pressure on myself to overcome certain areas of sin in my life.  Part of the issue was attempting to do it in my own strength.  But it was also putting unrealistic expectations on the process of sanctification.  In case you aren’t sure what that means—it’s the act of becoming holy.  Note the word becoming.  Not is holy…but moving toward it.

Sadly, sometimes other believers contributed to this undue pressure.  Instead of focusing on the aim of sinning less, it was the expectation of being sinless.  Whether it’s a lifestyle change or a bad habit, it usually takes time (sometimes a lifetime) of striving to sin less.

Think of it this way, instant change generally doesn’t require much reliance on Jesus.  Not that I’m taking away credit from His ability to do something miraculous in a person’s life.  I know people who have experienced immediate deliverance from substance abuse and other vices.  But from personal experience, when I’m striving to sin less, I rely the most on God.

And let’s face it.  While on this earth we will never, ever be sinless.  Just when we’ve found victory in one area of our life, there will be opportunity to seek it in another area.  At the same time, the closer we get to Jesus…the more we read His Word…the more we strive to live his Word…the greater chance we will sin less.

Taming the Rebel in Me

Confession…sometimes I struggle with rebellion.  Not sure if you can relate to this issue—especially if you tend to be more of a rule follower—but for me, a rebellious spirit has been a lifelong problem.

As far back as I can remember, rules were always made to be bent or broken.  By the time high school hit, I was paving the way to make my parents’ lives a little more “eventful.”  Let’s just say the high school I attended freshman and sophomore year suggested I look for another place to finish my last two years.

Fast forward to my early 20’s as a new bride.  My poor husband didn’t quite understand that if you tell me to do something or have expectations that aren’t my idea, well…let’s just say it isn’t going to happen!

Even in later years, after I turned my life around and became a believer, that old rebellious spirit would rise up.  While I had great respect for leadership in the ministry, I drew the line at “Repeat after me…”  You know, when the pastor would have the entire congregation recite a verse or some type of spiritual declaration.  I would clamp my mouth shut, refusing to repeat, because I didn’t like to be told what to say or do.

I know, I know…that’s pretty bad.  But this is why I stated from the start that I had a confession—you know, the whole admitting of doing something wrong.

Good thing my introduction to Christianity was based on grace.  Because if I had to “follow the law,” let’s just say I’d be on Moses’ naughty list quite a bit.

Taming the rebel in me has been a long (and sometimes painful) process.  One that requires a great deal of humility.  I am truly a work in progress.

Sometimes God’s commands can seem “too extreme,” especially for us boundary pushers.  We question, “Is it really wrong to do such and such?”  Or, “Is it such a big deal to…fill-in-the-blank.”  And then there’s the whole struggle with whether something is right or wrong because it’s not specifically addressed in the Bible.

Whenever I’m confronted with these types of issues, I try to go back to I Corinthians 10:23, “’I have the right to do anything,’ you say—but not everything is beneficial.  ‘I have the right to do anything’—but not everything is constructive.”

Whether you struggle with a rebellious spirit or sometimes you just aren’t sure if something passes the “Christianity test,” keep these two things in mind:

  1. Not everything is beneficial.

You have the right to do anything because God opted to give us a free will.  However, this gift from God wasn’t meant to be misused.  When considering whether something is right or wrong…when the rebel in you rises up…remember that not everything is advantageous.  In other words, if it won’t result in good, don’t do it.

I know this sounds so simple—almost too simple.  But how many times do we really stop and consider if something is going to benefit our walk with God?  If a choice we make could perhaps result in a harmful consequence?

  1. Not everything is constructive.

If it doesn’t serve a useful purpose, it might not be the right thing to do.  I try to think about the value of my choices.  Do they add something to my walk with God?  On the flip side, do my choices detract from my relationship with Him?

Too often we separate what we do from our relationship with God.  We compartmentalize parts of our life into this is what I do at work…this is what I do in the home…this is what I do, etc.  But everything we do is connected to our faith.  We don’t (or at least we shouldn’t) leave Jesus at the door before we step into our workplace, home, and so on.

Taming the rebel in me isn’t easy, nor is it always black and white.  The Bible is truth and it’s the blueprint for our lives.  If we don’t know it, how can we ever navigate the tricky parts of life?  Yet at the same time we have a responsibility to carefully consider the benefits and constructivism of our choices.  The best way to do that?  Ask God.  Seek His direction and wisdom.  You can never go wrong and you just might finally tame that rebel within.

Invisible Scars and Broken Souls

Unhealed wounds.  Unseen marks.  Minds bruised and battered.  Hearts left in jagged pieces.

These are the invisible scars and broken souls of many.  I have them…more than likely, you have some.  They’re oftentimes ignored, swept away in the corner, tucked under the rug, or covered with a self-inflictive “band aid.”

I’ve been feeling challenged lately to see beyond the surface stuff of people.  To not assume that the way someone acts (or reacts) is a character flaw, but instead, the residual effects of a broken soul.  To not dismiss someone else’s struggle but consider that underneath the rough exterior lies an invisible scar.

Some of my invisible scars are still in the process of healing.  It’s why I continue to struggle with trusting people and being vulnerable in a relationship.  Parts of my soul remain broken, which sometimes causes me to become easily defensive and unable to control the tongue.

These aren’t excuses.  My sin isn’t pardoned simply because I’m scarred and broken.  But it is forgiven when I seek God’s redemption…each and every day asking Him to cleanse my heart.

If I can give myself permission to accept God’s grace, why can’t I extend the same offering of grace to others?

I think that sometimes we take it so personally, we fail to see that it has absolutely nothing to do with us and everything to do with that person’s inner conflict.  For how can anyone get through life without being inflicted and as a result left with a scar?  Or manage life’s challenges without suffering some brokenness?

It takes humility to consider that someone else is hurting.  Especially when we feel victimized by that person.  It takes selflessness to look beyond the exterior and consider what’s going on within.  And it takes courage to step forward and offer ourselves up—in whatever means is necessary—to aid in that person’s healing.

Stop to consider…set yourself aside…purpose to seek what lies underneath.  For we all bear invisible scars and we all carry around broken souls.

God’s Sustaining Power…Even When Nothing Changes

Not going to lie…I’ve been in a funk for the past couple of weeks.  Forcing myself to come up with a blog post seemed pointless.  Too many personal issues swirling around in my head to come up with anything remotely spiritual, let alone helpful.

I’ve been trying really hard to do the whole giving of my worries and cares to God thing (I Peter 5:7), without much success.  At least, that’s how it feels because the problems are still there and my emotions aren’t getting any better.  But then I read Psalm 55:22, which talks about casting our cares on Him and how when we do that, He sustains us.

Sometimes, we have to look for the ways God is getting us through the hard things.  Because I guarantee you, He is most definitely giving us the strength we don’t possess.  This requires us to see beyond the issue(s), to the One who equips us with exactly what we need…sometimes moment by moment.

It doesn’t necessarily mean the problem goes away or that we feel any better…but we can still say with confidence that God is helping us to press on, to get through, and to cope with the difficult circumstances.

Let me share from personal experience how it might look.  One of the issues weighing heavy on my heart is a challenging work situation.  It’s been ongoing for a while and has actually been getting worse each week.  It’s definitely made coming to work more than a little difficult.

Yet I have been able to recognize that in the midst of my imperfect moments, God has definitely given me the strength to hold back.  The anger I feel inside, cannot be denied.  But my ability to keep it reined in…not my doing.  It’s all God.  He is sustaining me despite things not getting any better and regardless of my inner conflict.

By choosing to focus more on how He is helping me through the circumstance, I spend less time thinking about the issue itself.  If we can’t see the “good” in something, our only option is to dwell on the “bad.”  It’s not healthy.  It won’t move us forward.  And it certainly won’t change a single thing.

Casting our cares on God doesn’t diminish the issue(s) nor does it necessarily eliminate our emotional struggles.  They can both still be there.  The problem can remain.  The anger (or any other emotion) could still be a battle in our minds.

Part of casting our cares is being honest with God.  We cast (or fling) the problem we’re facing.  In other words, we pray.  But we also throw at Him the way it has held us back or caused us to react in a sinful way.  We may have to do this once a day or twenty times a day.  The more we do it, the sooner we will see Him move.  Whether that means changing the circumstances or giving us what we need to navigate them, He will be faithful.

Too many times we think Bible verses are a means to a quick fix.  They are truth and nothing can take from that.  Yet they aren’t a magic eraser that wipes away the problem.  Instead, they help us work through the problem.  And in the end, we come to see that regardless of the storm, God was faithful to sustain us.

Misplaced Blame

It’s taken a couple of days to formulate the words for this post.  I’ve spent time reflecting on the tragic event that occurred this past week, along with reading a variety of thoughts and opinions.

On Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2018, one of the deadliest school shootings occurred.  The lives of 17 people were taken and 15 more were injured.  It’s logical to seek answers for how this act of violence could occur.  Why did the killer do it?  How was he able to obtain the arsenal to commit this horrific crime?  Essentially, we want to know…who is at fault?

As in most tragedies involving guns, the blame gets placed on the weapon.  The NRA is responsible.  The lack of gun control is the cause.  Mental illness is oftentimes blamed.  A failure of the FBI has been a specific source of blame in this case.  But I have also seen fault placed on Republicans and gun owners in general.

Scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed the past few days, I have observed people trying to find answers.  If God was allowed in the schools, this wouldn’t happen.  If kids didn’t play violent video games, this wouldn’t happen.  If guns didn’t exist, this wouldn’t happen.  Protests by students are being formulated.  There is even a movement aimed at teachers going on strike.

Regardless of what any of us believe about the aforementioned issues, one of the factors that seems to be getting lost in the midst of our seeking answers, is that the gunman is at faultHe is responsible for killing 17 people and injuring 15 more.   Using this situation to take a stand for what we personally believe, well, it’s detracting from the responsibility of the person who consciously made a decision to inflict harm on others.

Personal responsibility is quickly becoming a thing of the past.  Working in a school, I see it all the time.  More parents blame the school, the teachers or other students for the wrong choices being made by his/her child.  I can’t tell you the number of situations we’ve encountered this year where students have clearly done something wrong (sometimes resulting in a suspension) and the parent blames everyone else but the child.

In my own family, I’ve seen a close relative (who is addicted to drugs) blame everyone and everything for their struggles.  Divorce blamed on the other person.  Friends making bad choices because of what someone else did.  Fault placed anywhere else but on self.

However, misplaced blame is nothing new.  From the dawn of creation, we have learned how to master the art of blaming someone else.  Eve blamed the serpent for disobeying God.  Adam blamed Eve.

Honestly, I’m tired of people using these types of circumstances to further their agenda.  At the same time, I get why we do it.  We’re trying to make sense out of senselessness.  But in the course of doing that, we’re lifting fault from the wrongdoer.

We have to take personal responsibility for our choices.

With or without gun control, people will still commit violent acts.   With or without God in the schools, people will continue to do wrong things.  Protests and strikes might get our voice heard but it won’t solve the issue of sin in a person’s heart.

Placing blame on everything and everyone else is a trap that won’t free us from the issues of the heart.  Not addressing the evil that’s within us, won’t change our choices.  While a tragedy of this magnitude is certainly an example of putting the blame elsewhere, the truth is that we may fall into the same pattern in our day-to-day living.

We get impatient and blame the slow cashier.  We snap at our children and blame the fact we’re tired.  We get a speeding ticket and blame the police officer for not focusing on “more important matters.”  We’re frustrated at work and blame it on our boss’s demands.  We lose our cool and we blame it on “that time of the month.”

I mean, the excuses are endless.

What if instead, we adopted the mindset of what we read in Romans 7:24…What a wretched man I am!  The NLT version says, “What a miserable person I am!

Self-awareness of our wretchedness allows us to not only take personal responsibility but the opportunity to reach the grace of forgiveness…the glory of redemption…and the hope of change.

Let’s stop pointing the finger at others and turn it inward.  Let’s not make excuses for what we do.  We may have our personal beliefs and issues that we take a stand on, but may it never detract from the reality of our sin sickness and our need for a Savior.

5 Things You Should Never Say to Someone Depressed

  1. Things could be worse.

That kind of goes without saying.  Clearly, things can always be worse!  Although the intent is to help the person realize that others may have greater struggles, it doesn’t magically erase the depression.  It’s not like a lightbulb goes on that says, “Oh my goodness, you are so right!  Since things could be worse, I really have no reason to be depressed!”

It’s important we don’t compare people’s pain.  For that person, the worse is not what could be, but what that person is experiencing in the here and now.

2. Can’t you just snap out of it?

I’m pretty sure the majority of people suffering with depression don’t choose it.  If they could, well then yeah, they would just snap out of it.  Our emotions don’t always transform so easily.  Regardless of the source of the depression, deciding to not feel that way just doesn’t work.

3.  If you…then you would feel better.

If you took these vitamins…followed this diet…gave up this thing…focused on the positive…

Well, then you would start to feel better and no longer struggle.  The reality is that a positive mindset, a healthy diet, physical exercise and adequate sleep can definitely impact one’s mood.  But they aren’t the only solution.  Oftentimes people struggling with depression have deeper issues that need to be tackled.  We can’t make it sound so simple, that just by doing this one thing, you will suddenly feel like a brand-new person.

4.  What do you have to be depressed about?

On the outside it looks like a pretty good life.  There doesn’t seem to be any good reason for the person to be depressed.  But depression isn’t always a result of something in particular that happens.  The feelings associated with it don’t have to be based on a reason.  They just are and they’re quite real to the person struggling.

5.  Try harder to be happy.

Making an attempt to be happy is like trying to put toothpaste back into the tube.  It can’t be done.  You can try with all your might but it won’t work.

It’s important to remember that happiness is generally circumstantial.  So, when circumstances change, our level of happiness fluctuates.  The goal of gaining victory over depression is not to become a happier person, but to experience a deep inner joy.

Saying Less…Listening More

I missed posting something last week.  The reason?  I had nothing to say.  I mean, I literally had no thoughts.  The most logical explanation would be I had a case of writer’s block…at least that’s what I assumed was the problem when I couldn’t come up with anything.  But in the days following it became obvious there was something a little deeper going on.

I don’t know if you can relate, but it seems I’m a better talker than a listener.  That’s true in general but when it comes to my prayer life, it’s even truer.  Lately it’s like God is trying to silence me, so that I will spend more time seeking Him instead of telling Him.  Because honestly, that’s what sometimes happens in my prayer life.  I tell Him what to do, all in the guise of saying I want His will done but the reality is that I prefer to dictate what should be done.  And then I don’t even bother taking the time to hear what He may have to say to me.

Having nothing to say isn’t normally a problem for me.  I have a lot of opinions and thoughts on things.   And most times I don’t mind sharing.  I don’t think I’m alone, though.  Turn on the news and listen to the varying points of view.  Scroll your Facebook newsfeed and you’ll find people have a lot to say.

Recently I shared a post on Facebook regarding something my pastor had said at church.  I felt it was quite profound and could be helpful to others, regardless of their beliefs.  In fact, my intent was to especially reach friends and coworkers who aren’t believers.  Amidst the favorable comments, there was one that quite honestly, angered me.  It was from another believer who had something to say.  And it wasn’t kind.  It was snarky, somewhat condemning and self-righteous.

So I deleted it.  And then I sent her a private message regarding why I deleted it.

Why is it that people always have something to say?  I’m pointing the finger at myself, too.

More importantly, why do we feel inclined to say a whole lot to God?  To fill our time of prayer having a one-sided conversation?  There is something quite divine about silence and yet, most of us probably don’t practice it enough.

I’ve discovered something about myself.  Silence makes me uncomfortable.  Noise fills the empty places inside that I don’t want to face.  Listening to God is a risk because He might say something I don’t want to hear.

With the world having so much to say, maybe it’s time we practice silence.  We refrain from voicing our opinion.  We hold back from responding.  We stop telling God what to do and listen to what He would have us do.

Silence the television.  The radio.  The phone.  Silence the urge to dictate what we think should happen and how life should work.  Silence the tongue that wants to defend.  Silence the need to get in the last word.

I want to start practicing more silence in my life.  I want to give God full access to my heart and I can’t really do that when noise stands in the way of hearing what He would say to me.

God…Why?

I feel it’s necessary to begin this post with a warning—that it’s not going to be one of those wrapped-in-a-neat-package message which brings warm fuzzies.  Just putting it out there from the start that I’m in less of a “God is great” place and more in a “God, why?” place.

Last Saturday I attended the funeral of a young man who died from a heroine overdose.  He was the son of a friend.  A friend that I had spent many years praying with for our children.  Formally in a group at our church called “Moms in Touch” and informally in my home.  Years of prayer.  Tears shed.  Hearts that cried out for God’s touch.  And yet…I have to ask God, why?

Why did he succumb to the addiction?  He fought long and hard, experienced some breakthrough moments.  But a slip is all it took to end his life.  Did our prayers truly matter?  Did they even make a difference?

But I don’t just ask God why for my friend.  I ask it for myself.  For my one child in particular who just can’t seem to get her life in order.  Where it’s one step forward and three steps back.  Years…literally years of struggles and challenges that make me wonder if she’ll ever get it together.  Will there ever be peace and calm? Will drama ever cease to exist?

I’ve often heard moms talk about the many ways prayer has touched their children.  It’s the reason they’re on the right track, they have that great job, they met that godly person or they were saved from a tragedy.  Why did the prayers uttered week after week not save my friend’s son?  Why have my prayers, which began while my child was still in the womb, not prevent the heartache and bad decisions that would permeate her life?

These questions don’t mean I have walked away from my faith.  I still pray.  I read my Word.  I attended a great service at church this past Sunday.  But I’m not some super Christian who can pretend that everything is great…that I’m not hurt by the circumstances surrounding me…or that I don’t have questions regarding God’s ways.

My heart aches for my friend.  No mother should ever have to bury a child.  This was always her worst fear, that a slip would be what took him.  Her fear was realized.  And now she’s left to ask God, why?

Some believers think it’s wrong to question God.  That it’s a demonstration of weak faith.  It shows we don’t trust Him.  But we’re not alone in doing this.  The Bible has many examples in which God’s ways were questioned.  Expressions of sorrow for the hurts of life.  Even anger at the injustices of this world.

I don’t pretend to understand all of God’s ways.  It’s why I ask those hard questions.  I’m pretty sure He can handle it.  It’s what we do with the questions that remain unanswered which determines where we go next.   Will we drift further and further away from the truth?  Or will we cling to it like a lifesaver in the midst of our tumultuous waters?

For me, in spite of my questions and sometimes doubts about God’s ways, Whom have I in heaven but You?  I desire You more than anything on earth (Psalm 73:25.

This world certainly doesn’t hold the answers.  I most definitely can’t pretend to understand the twists and turns of life.  I have absolutely no idea why my friend’s son had to die under those circumstances.  Maybe I’ll never get the reason for my daughter’s struggles.  But even if these questions go unanswered…Jesus.  Just that.  Jesus.