Struggling with God
“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV).
Friend to Friend
My son and I sat on the floor in his room playing Rummy. We had just a few minutes before rushing off to register for his summer swim class and wanted to get in one more round of play. This summer was proving to be the best ever. Our golden retriever, Ginger, had just delivered seven adorable puppies, Steven was enjoying his sixth summer of life, and after four years of the heartache of negative pregnancy tests, God had surprised us with a new life growing inside my womb.
But as Steven and I sat on the floor, I felt a warm sticky sensation run down my leg. A trip to the bathroom confirmed my greatest fear. Later that afternoon, our baby died, and is now waiting for us in heaven.
What began as a summer full of life and joy, quickly turned into a season of great loss and sadness. I mourned for that child for which I had prayed and felt the ache of empty arms. Someone once said, “I never knew I could miss someone that I had never met.” But, oh, how I missed her. We never knew for sure, but in my heart, I felt that the baby had been a little girl.
During those summer months, I went through the grieving process step-by-step. I’ll admit that I was angry at God for “taunting” me with this gift of a child and then taking her away. But through the months and years that followed, God taught me many lessons about myself, about Him, and about trusting in His unfailing love.
I believe that when we go through a trial which wounds us deeply, God can use it to teach us valuable lessons. Some of those lessons are a deeper understanding of who God is, of who we are, and of what we truly believe. Our faith grows in the Petri dish of struggles in the laboratory of life. One of my most valuable lessons, through all my wounds and scars was a decision to stop saying “why me” and to begin saying “what now.” But the lesson that continues reverberating like a gentle thunder is the truth of God’s unfailing love.
During the months that followed the loss of our child, I struggled with God. Just as Jacob wrestled with God through his dark night of the soul, I wrestled as well.
How could He love me and allow this to happen? Why would God withhold my dream? Is He able? Is He kind? Is He really there?
It was a dry summer…in my heart and soul. No one could help me, comfort me, or lift me out of my despair. And while I didn’t want to talk to God, He never left my side. Patiently, He waited for me to cry out to Him… to say, I will trust you even though I do not understand. It is easy to trust God when life is skipping happily along. It is a deeper faith that forms when the skipping halts to the slow crawl of despair. Honestly, I never enjoy the struggle, but I do revel in the deeper understanding of God that is forged.
As Peter wrote, “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6-7 NIV).
Dear Lord, sometimes things happen in my life that I just don’t understand. But I know You hold the box top to the puzzle pieces, and You know how the picture of my life is going to turn out. I trust You, Lord. Though Your ways may twist and turn as through a maze, I know that You make no mistakes, You are never lost. You are good…all the time. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Now it's Your Turn
What has been a time in your life when you did not understand God’s ways?
Can you trust God as Job did when his life fell apart?
What was the final outcome of Job’s incredible trial? (Job 42:10, 12)
More from the Girls
Some life-lessons cannot be learned in the light but must be learned in the darkness. When we learn to embrace our pain, knowing that God is not surprised by our circumstances, we will discover the truths He has for us in every trial. Life will always be filled with tough times. We may not understand the processes of God but we can always trust His heart. Stand firm, my friend, and rest in His arms.
For more on today’s topic see Your Scars are Beautiful to God: Finding peace and purpose in the hurts of your past by Sharon Jaynes.
Girlfriends in God, Inc.