Archive for the ‘Faith & Trust’ Category

I’m angry at God

Sometimes if I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I am completely and totally angry with God. 

child-tantrum

 

Okay, maybe as a fellow bible believing Christian you’re confused, so let me try to explain.

 

I suppose I can compare it to the kind of anger a child feels towards a parent that is ‘absentee.’ Maybe a father or mother who serves in the military. You get the weekly calls, the gifts on your birthday, you know that they love you, but you’re angry because you simply feel robbed.

 

You miss getting tucked in every night, the in-person bedtime stories, or even just waking up in the middle of the night, running to their room when you’re scared and knowing you’re safe in the house because you can see that they are still there.

 

I’m angry with God because I can’t see Him. I don’t care that this is how it has to be or whatever theology that is present to explain it away. I know I am being unreasonable, a petulant child,  and I still don’t care!

 

It’s not always enough knowing that ‘God is there or that He cares.’ Sometimes I want to see Him! I want Him to come down off His throne, and give me a hug and show me that He is there. I want Him to sit with me late at night and tell me stories of how things were back in the day in the time of Moses, or Ezekiel, and Joseph. I imagine His voice to be so deep and comforting.

 

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I want Him to paint me a picture of how beautiful and bright the future will be. I want Him to hold my hand, to envelop me in a hug. Let me crawl into His bed when I’ve had a bad dream, or to be able to look into His eyes after a long day and see that my suffering causes him pain too. I just know that He would look lovingly back at me and simply say “There, there my child.”

 

Sometimes I feel so broken inside and I know He is the piece of me that I’m missing. When sleep eludes me, or I’m wrestling with my demons inside, He is the one I want to tell.

 

childpout

 

If I could have anything I wished for in this moment, I wouldn’t wish to end world hunger or violence or pain, even though all these things weigh heavily on my mind. All I would wish for is to just once see His face, to say “hi” to God, and hear him respond with a “Hello my child. I see you, and I’m right here.

 

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Still standing

Sometimes it is so hard to wait. We spend so much of life hurrying. Hurrying to accomplish one thing or the other. So when we get to the point where there is nothing left to do but wait, hope, and pray, it can cause us to unravel.

The past year of my life was never in my plans. I’m doing something I’d never fathomed I’d do. In a place I never thought I’d be. But I’m here. And though there are a lot of ups and downs which remind me I’m still alive. It’s truly been the most amazing year. I’ve learned so much about myself, what I want in life, even the things I thought I wanted, and now realize I actually don’t. I’ve lost myself, found myself, and lost myself again. I’ve lost people in my life, kept a few people, and gained some pretty amazing people as well.

I think this year has calmed me. It has made me question why am I really alive. And what my purpose on this earth actually is. I’ve realized my dreams are not the dreams of other people and that that is okay. My thinking about family, friendships, children, the future, religion, and education may be a bit queer and out of the norm. But I like it that way. I’ve realized my purpose is different. And as long as I stay true to that I will never be afraid of the passing of time. I will embrace change, and I will thrive in it.

I will go to the places I want to go, experience the things I want to experience, let go of the people who don’t want to come along for the ride, and hold on to those that do.

I used to be afraid of disappointment, and pain. But now I don’t hide from it. I see the rain falling and I dance in it. I make goals and I reach them. I don’t speak much, but instead I listen. I watch. I prepare, and I wait.

I grew up wishing I was somebody else, and hoping to fit into a segment of society that honestly is too small for me. I can’t be confined by other peoples ideas of happiness, I want to build my own.

I choose to jump off the bandwagon of popular thoughts, ambitions, and goals, and live a life that is uniquely my own. I want to change the world. And the first step is to change myself, my thoughts, and my vision.

quuen king down chess

The Prodigal son returns (too long)

(This has also been sitting in my drafts for too long.)

 

 

I want to scream but no words come out

Not for lack of things to say

But an absence of words that could be accepted

I want to fall into your arms and cry

But I won’t because you’ll probably ask why

I would run to you

But you’re no longer there
my arms outstretched

grasping at thin air

I would speak, you promised to listen

But I face judgment, rebuke, and derision

It’s been hard, for too long.

 

 

Hope, hurts. Faith fails. Love breaks.

But moments of pain are buffeted by songs of hope

Words of love

Moment of peace

Reminders that you are not alone

It’s those small moments

Those tiny victorys

Those glimpses of light

And I remember he is still there

 

I find him when I’m no longer looking

I hear him when I’m barely listening

I feel Him when my hands are tied

 

I don’t know why but He hears

I can’t understand but He cares

I can’t fathom how

But He’s there

He sees me, falls on me and tells me to come home

It’s been, too long.

 

prodigreturns

To be condemned…

I sat in church. Second row from the front. Different week, same routine.
But I desperately wanted to leave. The tiredness of everything the week had brought hit me at that very moment, and I was so tempted to just get up and walk away. I had a ride to church, but at that moment I seriously contemplated walking the 30mins back home. But somehow.. I decided to stay.

I’ve started realizing that the moments when I most want to get up and leave the presence of God are the times that I need to sit and stay the most.

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The preacher started speaking. His general topic: “the attitude of gratitude.” ‘Cute,’ I thought to myself. I settled in for the long haul, but my ears picked up as he slowly focused in on his point.

My eyes followed him as he spoke. He had a deformed hand, so whenever he spoke I always made a conscious effort to focus in on him and not his hand. The first time I had heard him speak, I couldn’t hear his words. I was staring. His deformity was all I could see. But I no longer let myself see him by what he was outwardly lacking. That day he spoke about how he lost so many fingers. I realized people around me began to stare at what was left of his hand. But my eyes never left his face. He talked and talked. At this point he had stepped down from the pulpit. He paced back and forth in front of the church, and then he reached out and touched me, with his hand that wasn’t whole, and I didn’t flinch. I only smiled and looked straight into his eyes.

Then he turned to me and said. “God is not going to bless you because you are good.” I almost cried. That was it. Those were the words. That was the message.

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As I grew in my Christian walk, it became less about how much time I spent with God, and more about how much I could do for Him. But the more I did, and the more I grew. The more I felt the weight of my sin.

I sought to be good. But word after word, action after action, thought after thought, condemned me. I recognized my self as a sinner, not a saint. I was so aware of my shortcomings, failures and burdens. I was consumed the knowledge that not only was I disappointing God, I was also disappointing myself. I was called to a higher standard. But it seemed like I could never reach it. Should I just give up? Should I accept defeat? Was it even possible to reach that perfection?

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Precept after precept, law after law. The bible. It condemned me. Shouldn’t I be struck down? Why would God even bless me?

I realized over time that I could never accept God’s forgiveness, if I couldn’t also subsequently forgive myself.

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His banner over me is love.

The law has seen me fall short time and time again, but his love always seems to lift me up.  Yes. It is indeed discouraging to fail in your walk with God, but never even trying to live God’s purpose for your life is akin to slavery. You become a slave to your every whim, want, and desire. No higher calling. No greater mission. No moral compass. You become consumed with pleasing yourself, and soon realize that self is never satiated.

The most amazing thing is that the people around you, those who proclaim to have an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ, will judge you, condemn you, and rebuke you. But Jesus speaks in love, and tells you to go and sin no more.

I often wonder at the magnitude of the sin of the woman at the well. What a burden she must have felt to never sin again. How hard was it for her to leave her current husband, one that she probably loved, though she had no legal claim to him? How did she support herself without a male companion? Did her whole lifestyle change overnight, or was it a gradual process? Did she wake up the next day, a saint? Perfect in all her ways?

Somehow I know in my heart that after Jesus told her to go and sin no more, it was just the beginning of her transformation. That though she daily found new sin in her life, she daily went back to the source that not only convicted her, but continually cleansed her. The battle is not for the faint of heart. But how comforting to know that the battle is not ours, but the Lord’s.

The God Problem

God

Intellectuals often ask, “Why doesn’t God intervene more? Or shower us with miracles until we can’t take anymore? Why doesn’t He feed the hungry, heal the sick or prevent war?”

 

They wonder, “If God really exists, why doesn’t He take a more active role in caring for humanity and providing for the poor?”

 

Even the self-proclaimed Christian can admit that they often think: that maybe, their ‘God’ –is just a myth.

 

Pastors, preachers, and teachers, sitting at home doubting the Word. The struggles of life making them remote, from the God they outwardly promote. They question their beliefs. Wondering if it’s real, or if they are the Emperor in Chief: parading before the people without clothes—just empty prose.

 

Nevertheless, we must confess, that all of these questions are based on our own weakness. The flesh. We assume that if God did reveal Himself, all doubts would vanish and that we would follow Him without wasting one breath.

 

But the Israelites saw God in their flesh, but His presence, left them overwhelmed and feeling bereft. God showed them His power, but in front of new challenges they cowered. Every day a miracle—like new food falling from the sky. But they could not see past their own eyes.

 

Hearts hardened, barely listening. Pillar of cloud and fire. But even to Moses they couldn’t listen. So to follow God? No. His will was not their mission.

 

Tell me. What more from God could they desire? And you, what do you require? You see its not miracles that can make us witness: That it’s the Holy Spirit giving us spiritual fitness. And when we doubt; we too, are like the Israelites facing a new drought.

 

Forget not the Red Sea and all that God has done for thee. The time is coming, and almost is, when all our tears and sorrow shall not exist. When God will take care of the poor and worry shall be no more. So when in doubt, know that you are not alone. Open your bible and pray to God, it’s like calling Him on the phone. He sees your heartache and the disappointment in your eyes, but recognize—that it was for YOU He died.

I’m-possible

God is > our impossibilities. Flip through your bible. We see Mary becoming pregnant while still a virgin. Joseph went from being a condemned slave to second in command to Pharaoh. Sarah gave birth to a child when she was 99 and post-menopause. Nevertheless, we sometimes forget that the God of the bible is still Lord over our lives today.

 

Impossible  means without power. But God gives power to all our impossibilities.

Impossible means without power. But God gives power to all our impossibilities.

 

Have you ever looked at a situation in your life and thought it was impossible? God is telling us today what He once told Abraham, so many centuries ago…“Nothing is too hard for the LORD!!”

 
God knows you have questions, doubts, and concerns. You are anxious for the future, and wonder if you can truly trust God to come through for you. But today, know that the impossible becomes possible when God works on your behalf. God is so much higher than your problems, pain and difficulties. When His power meets your willing and surrendered heart, the impossible becomes possible!

Handicap Grace

The story is told of a young boy who had been handicap since he was a small child. One day the young boy was looking for scraps in a dumpster behind a certain alleyway. He heard a commotion behind him, and quickly went to go see what was happening. He saw an old man slouched in the far corner of the alley with two burly men looming over him. The young boy growled at them from the shadows, and lunged for them. Seeing only the outline of his frame, they didn’t even notice that he was missing one arm.  The two men quickly ran away, and the young boy went to check on their victim. He helped the older man up, and gathered the old man’s wallet—which the thieves had dropped in their rush to escape. The old man saw the ferocity in the young boy’s eyes and noted his courage.

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The old man was a well-noted boxing trainer, and he decided he would take this boy under his tutelage, despite his missing arm. Years later this boy became a master boxer. And despite his missing arm, he was as fierce as a lion when in the ring. In the final match of his career, his old master taught him one trick that he said would never fail the young man in the ring. When the day of the match came. The young man fought ferociously. But still he could feel his strength waning. In the last round, he made one last attempt at victory; using the trick his master had taught him. He executed it with much skill, and to his amazement his opponent lay knocked out.

After celebrating his victory that night he went to his master with complete befuddlement apparent in his face. “How could I have won master,” he asked. “Why did your trick work?” “I am only a handicap and my opponent was much stronger than me!” A small smile sneaked out from under the old man’s beard. “The only way your opponent could have counter acted your final move, was if you had another hand for him to grab on to,” he replied. You won not despite your handicap, but because of it. 

Often times God allows us to have certain handicaps in our life. Whether it be physical handicaps, or disadvantages we have always had to live with. Maybe we are not gifted in one area or another.  Maybe we grew up without certain comforts or opportunities. However, God never gives us a load we cannot bear. He can use our handicaps to become our glory. And then we will see, that it was not because of our strength we succeeded, but rather because of His grace.