Monday, June 9, 2008

Asking God "Why?!"...

So, awhile back I heard from a friend who lives out of state. She was experiencing an incredibly difficult time in her life--it just seemed as though the hits kept comin', you know? She had emailed me with her thoughts, feelings, frustrations, and confusions--and to be honest, I felt a little overwhelmed. I didn't know what I could tell her...You see, I am a fixer, and though I very much wanted to, I just couldn't fix her circumstances.

Recently, I have had other people I care about in similiar periods of life--the details may be different, but the struggle and pain the same. Even myself, and my whole family, have been experiencing loss and disappointment on a variety of levels as of late.

I'm confident there are also many of you out there going through a chapter that involves discouragement or questions, hurt or anger, betrayal or depression...or maybe all of the above, and even some I didn't mention. Makes me think of this quote: "Everyone I know is either in a crisis, coming out of a crisis, or headed into a crisis."
-Andy Andrews

Just today, I came across the letter I eventually was able to pen back to my friend...It encouraged me. Maybe it will do the same for you...

Dear Friend,
I'm so sorry to hear things are rough...Gosh--sometimes it just feels like the bad never really ends, doesn't it?! :/ I wish I had a magical answer or insight. But, I don't. I wish this, not only for you, but for myself as well, because I also sometimes feel the "neverendingness of crap", so to speak. I do know, however, that God is in control--no matter what it looks like to me. Just for ONE instance, I was praying last night and this morning for little Bryan--my brother, Zack and his wife, Amanda's 3 year old nephew. He has horrible eczema that just wreaks havoc all over his poor little body and face. His skin is rough, raw, itches. He can't really swim, be in the sun, use fragranced lotions. There are certain foods he can't eat. And, most of all, it is really painful for him. They've been to doctors upon doctors who can't seem to figure out how to truly help. He is the sweetest little boy, and so adorable--and I just can not for the life of me understand why he has to go through this. I have cried over it many times, and am welling up now as I think of it. I have prayed and prayed that God would heal him--and I am not the only one. I was asking God again last night and this morning, "WHY?!...Why won't you heal him?!" And, suddenly, very clearly, I was impressed with the reality that I don't know everything, but God does. Maybe there is some reason things are the way they are without visible change. Maybe there's something coming down the road in Bryan's life and God knows this hardship is necessary--or at least useable. I changed my prayer and asked that God would do His best by, for, and in little Bryan. That He'd help me keep faith that He will never allow this child to suffer needlessly. I prayed that God would, first and foremost, secure the health and future of Bryan's heart and soul--even if that means, for some reason, that his skin is never healed. God is the ultimate puzzle-piecer and strategizer. Like sometimes when I play Tetris people watching think I have made a big mistake because I put a piece in place that looks like I have blocked myself off, and I'm certainly going to lose. What they don't realize is, I have seen the side of the screen where the next three pieces you're going to get are shown, and I know that my move was the best one in light of what is coming. Do you see what I am saying? Being that I trust Jesus so much, I trust that He is working the puzzles even when I think His moves dont make sense--and even when they hurt. Doesn't mean it's easy or that I don't fret and fuss and screw up--I do. :/ But, ultimately my faith is in Him. I know yours is, too. Steven Curtis Chapman has this song called "Believe Me Now." It really encouraged me a while ago when I was going through a period of "neverending crap." And it still encourages me today. (When other periods of "neverending crap" continue.) I've included the lyrics below. There's one particular line in the bridge that was the first thing to catch my attention. I was crying in my office one day a couple of years ago with my head down, asking God "why" and to please just take the pain away. I had a CD playing in the background. This was a CD I had heard every song on before, but for some reason this one never stood out to me. "Believe Me Now" was already more than half over, and I hadn't consciously heard one word of it when suddenly the melody and the voice broke through my crying and my prayers, and I heard this line from the bridge, "I am the God who never wastes a single hurt that you endure." Now, I don't always know how that's going to play out--frankly, I'm not sure I have yet seen the full outcome of that truth in any area of my life--however, I believe it with my whole heart. God is good. God is faithful. God loves us. God Reigns. Those things are facts, and can handle the weight of our hope.

Thanks for listening to me--these thoughts were as helpful to me to get out, as I hope they are for you to read.

Much love,
Rachel

Believe Me Now
by Steven Curtis Chapman

I watch you looking out across the raging water
So sure your only hope lies on the other side
You hear the enemy that's closing in around you
And I know that you don't have the strength to fight
But do you have the faith to stand
and Believe me now Believe me here
Remember all the times I told you loud and clear
I am with you and I am for you
So believe me now Believe me now
I am the one who waved my hand and split the ocean
I am the One who spoke the words and raised the dead
And I've loved you long before I set the world in motion
I know all the fears you're feeling now
But do you remember who I am?
Will you believe me now Believe me here
Remember all the times I told you loud and clear
I am with you and I am for you
So believe me now Believe it's true
I never have I never will abandon you
And the God that I have always been I will forever be
So believe me now
I am the God who never wastes a single hurt that you endure
My words are true and all My promises are sure
So believe me now Oh believe me now
So believe me now Believe me here
Remember all the times I told you loud and clear
I am with you and I am for you
So believe me now Believe it's true
I never have I never will abandon you
And the God that I have always been I will forever be
So believe me now Believe me now Believe me now

2 comments:

Brenda Grace Mason Young said...

WOW!!!! That really spoke to me right now. Thank you so much.

Larissa said...

Thanks. Sometimes I just need to be told over and over again to Trust. Today must be one of those days. This morning my devotional with Paul was all about trusting Him and that He is faithful then, now and more importantly in the future