Ever felt as though God was not there? Or there, but not responding to your cry for help? I think we all have those times in our life. It is not that we don’t think that He exists, or that we don’t think He loves us, it is just that right now we cannot understand why He is not responding when that seems the loving thing to do.
I was journaling to Him just this morning saying, “Lord, I have heard it said that even if You did nothing more for me for the rest of my life, what You did for me on the Cross should be sufficient to make me praise You all of my days. I understand that sentiment, but it does not altogether wash for me. Of course I am eternally (literally) grateful for the Cross, but what you did through that was to establish a loving relationship. Relationships are on-going. This means continuous involvement in my life. We are in covenant, which means what is mine (my pain, my imperfections, my love and my life) are Yours and what is Yours (Your love, Your righteousness, Your active compassion, Your power) is mine. Surely, then, I can expect You to come through for me when I desperately need You?”
It is in these inexplicable times that I think God is testing my faith in a deep way. It is not that my faith is being questioned as to whether I think He can come through (or course, He is God isn’t He?). It is rather on whether I am able to trust His character when, apparently He is not coming through and I do not understand. In other words, am I willing to have faith in His loving nature, even when it is not evident? I guess this happens in any relationship, and maybe it is a test of the authenticity of it. A husband or wife or friend acts in a way that seems unloving or uncaring and we need to work through it and decide whether or not to continue to believe in that person’s love – in other words, to say that there are things in that action that we do not understand, but in spite of that, we choose to have faith in that person’s character.
This is why I so treasure my relationship with Jesus. It is authentic enough for me to be honest with Him. There are going to be times when we disagree and I do not understand and I feel alone. At times like that (and I describe them in God in the ICU) I can question Him and express my disappointment in Him. Yet where else could I go? Into whose arms could I entrust myself, but His? And I know He is calling me to trust without seeing. When I am in it, I hate it, and it seems the season will never end. However if I look back I have seen that weeping may have endured for a night (and a night can seem awfully long) but joy did come in the morning.