Wednesday, May 7, 2014

I've Asked God Some Hard Questions...Have You?

Do You Ever Question God?

There I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep my faith will stand
Oceans/Hillsongs United

Have you ever wondered, “Lord, what are you thinking?”

Or asked an even harder question, like
“God, if you’re so good, why do you let such bad things happen?”

I don’t really like questioning God. 
It’s not my style. I don’t want Him to get mad at me and I avoid confrontation as much as possible.

But I took a course on Faith Writing not too long ago and the teacher challenged us with an assignment to look at hard things and write about them from a spiritual perspective.

As a result I posed some questions to God. After all, there is a whole list of things I just don’t understand. God mysteries that lead me to wonder, “God, where the heck were you during those hard times?”

Though one of many heated arguments, this one shook me to the core. I was just seven years old. I was awakened by screaming that shattered my sleep. I worried about my parents’ marriage from that moment on. Later, pressing my ear to the floor of my bedroom when the discussions escalated from my parents room directly below mine. I wanted to be ready to run down in case the argument would get ugly…in my child’s mind and heart, I was afraid they would kill each other.

“Lord, where were you when my mother spewed hateful words at us…her children?”
Weren’t mothers supposed to love their children? Why did I have a mother who got hysterical so easily…who called us names, told us we destroyed her, seemed unable to love us. Why didn’t I have a mom like Maryellen had? Or Lynn? Or Ava? Their moms seemed to love them…in fact they seemed to love me.

“Lord, where were you when I lost the twins…when my beloved stepdaughter moved in and I was so ill-equipped to raise her…Where were you when my husband was hit by a car, struck down in his young 30s, lying almost dead, suffering from traumatic brain injury???”

I was on a roll. I thought about these painful mysteries for several days. I paced, wrote, cried, pleaded for answers. “God I need to know…where were you?” It was an agonizing, unsettling, depressing experience.

And then I started to see little glimmers of light, picture flashes of ways God had pierced my dark times of fear, loneliness, feeling unloved, loss, and devastation. I felt His presence as faces crossed my mind in a slide show of memories. And I could see Him in the shadows.

He was there. 

He was there in my grandmother, peace and prayer poured out in the midst of chaos, for seven of the most crucial years of my life and the worst years of my parents’ marriage.

He was there in my Godmother who loved me, saw me, always remembered me from the moment I was born.

He was there in all the mamas…so many other mothers who fed my deep deep longing to be heard and nurtured.

And when I went through the losses beyond what I could imagine…the challenges I could not rise to…the journey that’s lasted a lifetime.Well that’s when I came to know God. That’s when I walked with Him, my hand in His (when He wasn’t carrying me). That’s when our intimate real raw conversations began. When our relationship replaced my religion.

Oh there are still some mysteries…I still ask, “Why God, why?” 

And I don’t always get an answer. But there, in the deep, I stand on Him and believe that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

Is there a question you have for God? A why or where or what? Go ahead and ask…He’s with you no matter what.

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