When You Feel Abandoned

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Gentle Reader,

Things like natural disasters and unexplained illnesses often cause us to question God’s goodness. Surely He, if He loved us, would not allow us to deal with such difficult and heart-wrenching things? I myself have asked this question from time to time, though I have never come up with a satisfactory answer. The truth is, nobody has, whatever their philosophical outlook or religious belief. There are always “whys” that remain.

My personal opinion is that many of the things we suffer through are the natural consequences of living in a world that doesn’t work properly. Sin effects everything. Paul writes of the world around us:

For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. – Romans 8:19-22 (NKJV)

Praise be to God, for His eternal plan involves the redemption and restoration of the whole of creation. There is not one blade of grass, one flower, one mountain, one stream, one deer, one fish, one dog, one anything that will not be healed under His hand. Those of us who live under the Lordship of Christ will get to live in the “ideal world” that is always talked about. We will get to be whole and healthy, entirely at peace, our lives devoted to the worship and service of the King.

What do we do until then?

Jesus said:

“In this world you will have trouble. . .I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth.” – John 16:33, 14:16 (NKJV)

In our humanness, we’d rather escape trouble. We feel terribly alone and afraid when tornadoes rip through our homes or we are diagnosed with a disease that the doctors just can’t fix. We don’t understand. We’re angry. Hurt.

In those moments, there is amazing hope. Jesus guaranteed that we would go through hard times, for He does not snatch us immediately out of this life when we come to faith in Him. We have to exist in the same sin-sick world as everyone else does. But He is with us. Did you catch that? God is with us.

There is not a tear you cry, not a hurt you feel, not a question you ask but God does not see, hear and respond. He does not always work in the ways we would like Him to, or even in ways that we can understand, but He never leaves. Never.

The question is true: “When you feel far from God, who moved?”

Jesus went on to say:

 “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 (NKJV)

He is bigger, stronger and mightier than the fiercest of storms. It is beyond me as to why He allows them to come, but I stand in the truth that He guides us through them all, His arms wrapped protectively around us. Whatever is allowed has first passed through Him, and is meant for our good.

That is a hard truth to swallow. It takes a lot of faith and teeth-gritting guts to hold on. It takes effort, determination and a conscious decision to accept that some things are beyond us. To believe that God is other than we are and cannot be controlled. To know that we are fiercely loved, despite outside evidence to the contrary.

I do look forward to the day when I can see God face-to-face and ask Him why my husband had to battle depression daily and why I had to live with a mysterious illness. Why I was born partially blind. Was it an integral part of the plan? Was it something that He allowed as part of living in a fallen world? I would like to know, though I suspect it has something to do with the lessons He has to teach to His children over and over again; lessons about humility and dependence. Until that day, however, I am content to live in this broken body, secure in the knowledge that the Lord is with me, and this is not all there is.

What do you do when you suffer?

You cry. You get angry. You ask questions.

God hears. He sees. He loves. He guides.

What do you do when you see someone else suffering?

You don’t mouth platitudes. You accept that person for who they are and where they are. You pitch in where you can. You hug them and listen.

God hears. He sees. He loves. He guides.

We are never alone.

My journey to faith. (15)

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2 thoughts on “When You Feel Abandoned

  1. Love the last lines. Even Job’s friends stayed silent with him for a week in mourning. And expressing emotion to God in trials is so crucial; modern psychology teaches to control it somehow or “think positive.” Our hope is in Christ!

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  2. I hear and know people who become despondent when bad things happen in their lives. I think that is the key. It’s when things happen in our life, and not to our life. I think for myself, I have come to believe that “why not to me”? Who am I that I should think I should not know pain, disappointment. When I lead a life that is not in alignment with Gods word, why shouldn’t I have the things in my life that are not the blessings. God hasn’t changed, he hasn’t set about to wreck my life. I do! I step away from his grace, his blessings, disregard his plan for me. God has nothing to do with what goes wrong in my life, but he has everything to do with making something good out of the mess I’ve made. God created everything perfectly. He put the world and humanity in motion, with everything they need to live full joyful and glorious lives. Man, not God messed it up with their egos, their greed, their choices. God gave us our freedom to choose the right path, and he gave us all the information we need to take the right path. It is we who don’t know the path, don’t know his word, don’t see the consequences of our actions coming to fruition. We just want to blame someone else, and not take responsibility. The argument often is when a child dies tragically that we most often look to God with the question why? By that question alone shows our egos. Why not? God saw his son die tragically, he was innocent, pure. He didn’t deserve to suffer. But what I have come to realize, the tragedy lies in those who remain behind. The children are with God. Their pain like Christs on the cross will pass, be forgotten just like the pain a women feels in childbirth. Most women who felt they suffered in pain during that time of labor, soon forgets the pain and is overtaken with the joy. They are willing to lie down again in that pain to bring into the world the joy that comes from having their baby. Just like Jesus knew when his pain on the cross was over, he would be with his father. The tragedy in that is that he did it for us unworthy humans on earth. Such love does not exist in this world, but his word tells us that. We had the perfect example of Love, in Christ, and yet, we fail to demonstrate it. It is possible, but difficult with the current level of understanding. It is only with a constant walk and life of study that we can endeavor to reach that level of love. God’s plan? As perfect as his word. His instruction is easy to understand. But man often does not put any time into the instruction manual. Mankind demonstrates that by their egotistical desire to do it themselves. It is not meant to be irreverent to use the example, how many times do people put things together and never refer to the instructions provided by the manufacturer, or go some place and wonder lost before asking for help. We are deceived. We are unable to surrender ourselves. We’ve been deceived into believing we can do it. We can’t, we are not supposed to. We are suppose to follow Gods word, invite his plan, follow his path. We don’t have to trust, or have faith, We WOULD KNOW That WE KNOW, if we only knew Gods word. We need faith and trust, when we don’t know. We would see Gods plan unfolding, and understand it, if we knew Gods word. When a child heads to toward a busy street, we don’t take time to explain why they don’t do that. We save them first, explain later. In Gods word we have the explanation first, we know the dangers. It’s been around for 2000 years. We choose not to listen, learn. Sooo guess what, we get the smack down of life. Gods plan, NO…Gods plan kicks in when we get hit by the bus! Did he want us hit by the bus..NO. Did we think we can make it on our own..YES! So what could have prevented the disaster…READ THE BOOK! I get so tired of everyone saying why me..what have I done. How could this happen. Get over it people God is the only one who thinks we are special enough to say I’m so sorry that you are hurting, BUT if you had heeded my word, I would have protected you. I would have caught you. But never fear, I love you no matter what, and though my child you didn’t listen to me, you had to do it your own way, I’m willing as any parent does to make the best out of this mess, to believe the best in you is yet to be seen. To continue to offer my help. It’s up to you to accept it. I have lived years in rebellion. I joked that well I might not get prime property in heaven, but I have not killed anyone, I believed, but I was stubborn, immature, egotistical, sure that whatever I did well I’ll take the punishment. Then one day, humbled by all MY poor choices I said OK LORD. I get it. YOU ARE SO RIGHT! I AM SO WRONG. I am done. I am ready to listen, to learn, to follow your example. Total surrender. In a world we resent surrendering the remote control, our money, our pride, our title, our comfy lives is it any wonder we have yet to see the Glory of the LORD! Can we surrender daily, minute by minute, second by second for only the one day at a time God leaves us on this messed up Globe can we get it right. Sadly no. And those who think they have, or are getting it right. They are deceived even the more. I wake with surrender on my lips, and before I finish my cup of coffee, I’ve already fallen on my face. Thank God he’s not done with me. Thank God he isn’t done with you! Thank God he is long suffering. What breaks my heart, is that I make him suffer at all. I am no better than the Jewish leaders who screamed crucify him. My actions with all the information with all the advantages that I have been given. I have in so many ways have been responsible for flogging My Lord, as the soldiers at his time of death. I hear him saying on my behalf, forgive her, she knows not what she is doing. Oh how painful the realization that I do…I don’t know all Gods word, but I know enough to do better. Thank God for Grace! I am so glad he knows my heart and loves me anyway. Praise be to GOD..HE is more awesome than I deserve.

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