Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why Lord?

The first of our six Easter services is tonight. This year the program is a bit of a departure from the traditional Easter programs we've done in the past. The theme this year is "You Are God," and the message is hope. It centers around the timeless question: "Why do bad things happen to good people?" - and when they do, where is God?

Four videos, testimonies of people who were walking closely with the Lord when unexpected and undeserved tragedy struck, are the centerpiece. There are beautiful songs that form a framework around the faces of those who have walked through the fire and come out with their faith still intact.

I'm reposting something I wrote a while ago when I was struggling with some of these same questions:



Far too often I find my mind is a battle field - faith and doubt warring in my heart. One of my memory verses is Psalm 32:7:
"For You are my hiding place. You protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory."

I sometimes say it as I walk, trying to keep the verses I've memorized alive in my little brain. It brings me comfort...until that dart from the enemy finds its mark and I begin the inevitable round of questions.

"If that is true Father, why is there so much suffering? Why do those who love You so dearly and serve You so well have such trouble come into their lives? Why do little children suffer pain and sorrow? Why do evil people do such terrible things?......"

I fight back with the truth I know - that He loves us and will do nothing to harm us. Sometimes the questions persist.

I read something today in my little devotional, "Joy and Strength" that answered the question in a way that could only be the gentle voice of the Spirit:

"Just as soon as we turn toward Him with loving confidence, and say, 'Thy will be done,' whatever chills or cripples or enslaves our spirits, clogs their powers, or hinders their development, melts away in the sunshine of His sympathy. He does not free us from the pain, but from its power to dull the sensibilities; not from poverty and care, but from their tendency to narrow and harden; not from calumny, but from the maddening poison in its sting, not from disappointment, but from the hopelessness and bitterness of thought which it so often engenders. We attain unto this perfect liberty when we rise superior to untoward circumstances, triumph over the pain and weakness of disease, over unjust criticism, the wreck of earthly hopes, over promptings to envy , every sordid and selfish desire, every unhallowed longing, every doubt of God's wisdom and love and kindly care, when we rise into an atmosphere of undaunted moral courage, of restful content, of child-like trust, of holy, all-conquering calm."
William W. Kinsley (b.1837)

In my humanity, I want to think that nothing bad will happen to His children, or if it does, He will miraculously intervene. In truth, He will. It just may not look the way I want it to look.

Where I pray for healing or deliverance from trouble, He may have something else in mind. It doesn't mean He has withheld His love or turned His back. It means He is doing something I cannot see - something of eternal value. He has promised that He would. He asks me to trust Him.

There is the crux of the matter - trust. I have been dragged kicking and screaming into trust. I have wanted my way because I couldn't imagine the circumstances we were walking through could possibly be good or right. He has patiently waited for me to look into His face, listen to His heart, and surrender to a love that knows no bounds.

He is not obligated to answer my questions. His wisdom is so far above mine and His power limitless. He is perfect and holy. He has never failed to keep His word and has loved me unconditionally. Who am I, this broken, unworthy vessel, to question Him? Yet He tenderly draws me to Himself and listens. Often He answers; sometimes He doesn't. Always He is all that He has promised to be. If I will simply trust Him, that is more than enough.

Blessings,
Linda

linking to Emily's Imperfect Prose

9 comments:

S. Etole said...

Some questions are just plain hard.

Anonymous said...

pretty pink blossoms.
six...that's a lot of easter services. you must take part in more than one service a day.

thank you for the uplifting post.

it seems like we should be able to give the unbelievers the answers that they would like to hear, something to feed their logical reasoning, before they are able to give God their trust and faith.

but, it just doesn't work that way.

and, believers really want that answer so that they can be the ones to bring people to God... and so that they can trust in the reasoning instead of coming to God in faith.

i feel the sting when that arrow zeros in on me as a target. the poison from the tip of the arrow makes me itch.

emily wierenga said...

In my humanity, I want to think that nothing bad will happen to His children...

you know, i think, this is the God in you: this not wanting anything bad to happen to his children. i don't think it's your humanity. it's his image shining so bright in you. i know he doesn't want anything bad to happen to his children. this, this is what i believe. because it's the only way i can get up in the morning. :)

i love you linda. i'm SO glad you posted. i've missed you at imperfect. xo

Joybird said...

Always He is all that He has promised to be.

I'm banking on this tonight. I'm so glad you said it.

grammy said...

As usual, a very thought provoking post.
Hope to hear more about your services..they sound really good. Sometimes we need 'different'.
Have a great weekend.

sarah said...

your honesty reminds me of my questions....and there was a time I had to stop asking the whys and simply trust. Happy Easter.

Christie said...

I have had so many circumstances in my life that have been dramatic and traumatic with so many not my doing and others my choices that had no foresight of what would follow.

Now that we face new challenges I have struggled with what is faith in the face of financial crisis. Because of my personality I feel like I am being irresponsible to just trust when actually we are doing all we can at this point and all avenues are being blocked. I call it our log jam. My husband complimented me the other day and said I was really maturing in my faith. I looked to God and said, this is maturity? I just don't even let it cross my mind, it feels like denial, but actually, I know who the attack is from, so I am ignoring the enemy, waiting for God's timing for our finances to be released. Praising God the almighty, worshiping and thankful this Easter that God is in me, working through all of us, and wanting to make a difference in our world. This is the life! I would have no other!

Anonymous said...

I love all that you have shared here, Linda. I think we all struggle with these questions and doubts. The question that comes to mind, like you said, is will I trust Him? Will I take Him at His word? I don't know why that is so important in His plan/way of relating to us. It's especially frustrating when we see others walk away from Him, choosing not to trust Him. Thank you for the gentle reminder of the importance of having His word in our hearts. I pray you and your family have a wonderful Easter celebration!

deb colarossi said...

so well said..
I love your thought process.