“You can’t explain it, why it didn’t bother you last year, but now it bothers you all the time. You feel a tightness in your chest. Your faith, once so freeing, now feels like it is suffocating you.”
Tag Archives | relationship with God
God is in dark, dark places. But not with an instant pick-me-up solution. Sometimes it seems He is doing nothing and that perhaps He isn’t there. The cries for help seem to bounce off the ceiling. Pain is painful, and no less so for believers.
But alongside the truth of suffering, we need to acknowledge the truth that God is good, and that He does good work in dark pits.
Unfortunately, far too many of us suffer because we think the questions mean we are not true believers. That if we had a real faith then even in the most tragic of situations we wouldn’t have any questions. That our faith would be unshakeable. Unbreakable. That’s the lie. I can’t help but wonder if the opposite is actually true. What if our questions actually reveal the strength of our faith rather than its weakness?
I was allowed to be myself. I was allowed to be overwhelmed, and I wasn’t rushed to the tidy, theologically correct end. I was discovering a God who could handle all my upset and questions, I was discovering a God who was not placidly unconcerned about our world—in fact, this God of the Bible seemed to have some very intense emotions too.
I didn’t understand. From age 11 through to age 14 and beyond, I didn’t understand how people who claimed to follow the same God as me could have such a radically different view of His purpose and plan. God stood, distant and cold, behind a dark cloud of resentment, anger, and confusion. And I gave up on Him.
When we lose those we have loved – when they die, or move, or we move, or we break up, or are cut off – there is a loss: an emptiness. Part of ourselves is gone.
I’ve learnt that while God is sometimes silent, He is never absent. He chose to remain silent over our prayers for a child, but He was always present with us—even when we couldn’t feel it. And I’ve learnt that a greater tragedy than a broken dream is a life forever defined by one.
Unfortunately, I’m not sure that confession would be quite so popular – “1. yelled at my husband before 8am. 2. hated twenty different people on Twitter for being rude. 3. didn’t read the Bible because I couldn’t be bothered #3badthings”. I don’t think it would catch on, somehow.