God Cares About our Hard Questions

I grew up living in fear of God. No, not the fear that means revering Him, but the quaking fear of being pursued by an unapproachable, vindictive God who sought to harm me. I pictured Him as standing above me with a sword ready to strike me down and cast me into hellfire if I stepped even one toenail out of the way of what the church dictated.

I learned not to question God and not to question the ministers who were set in authority over us, because they were God’s messengers speaking for God. Spiritual, mental, emotional, and sexual abuse from a minister locked me in a prison with no way out.

BUT GOD…

Thanks be to God who broke the chains and did provide a way out. It’s an ongoing healing journey, but God has graciously led me to a way of love through Jesus, a love we didn’t hear much of. God is love. He delights to save us, not to harm us. He doesn’t want anyone to perish, and He doesn’t condemn us.

God doesn’t stop loving us when questions plague our hearts. It doesn’t mean we have a lack of faith or are being irreverent if we approach Him with them. He invites us to pour out all our confusion to Him, even though He already knows what is bothering us. He may not always give us answers here in this broken world, but He cares about our questions and uses them to help us in mourning our losses.

We can’t always trace God’s hand in events in this world and in our lives, but we can trust His heart. His arms are always open for us to run into and to be embraced to His heart of everlasting, unfailing love. He won’t always answer our questions, but it is His pleasure to give us grace to hold His hand and trust His heart and His infinitely higher thoughts and plan. He won’t always stop the pain, but He will bring beauty out of it in His way and timing. He won’t always fix what’s broken while we’re on this earth, but He gives us the courage to let go of our plans as we surrender to His control and remember His love never fails, no matter what.

We are not alone when we ask God “Why?”

  • When the Israelites wailed and complained and blamed Moses about their plight, Moses was frustrated and asked God, Why have You been so hard on Your servant?” (Numbers 11:11) It’s like he asked, “Here I am serving You, God, so why is all this happening? Why are You laying such a heavy burden on me?” God answered by qualifying others to help Moses carry the burden. The people were still discontent, but God strengthened him to carry on.

  • David asked, “Oh Lord, why do You stand far off? Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble?” (Psalm 10:1) He was in deep lament over all the sin and injustice against the innocent, the poor, and the helpless. It seemed God was unconcerned and hiding Himself. Though God didn’t directly mete out the justice right then, He did help David to focus on God’s faithful character as the Helper of the helpless. Someday there will be an end to all the oppression.

  • The prophet Habbakuk’s name means “he who embraces.” It was through grappling with tough questions that he came to a firm faith. In the first chapter, he asked God, “Why do You make me look at injustice? Why do You tolerate wrongdoing?” (Habbakuk 1:3) His heart was pained that God wasn’t immediately exacting justice against wrongdoings. He learned that things don’t happen according to our schedule or our plan but only in the way and timing of God.

  • In the anguish of his spirit, Job asked, “Why have You made me Your target?” (Job 7:20) He lost all his children and his possessions. He acknowledges he is not sinless, even though he had a close relationship with God, but he can’t understand why it seems God is destroying him. Though Job didn’t get his children back and He would continue to feel the loss, God eventually gave him more children and more possessions than before. God restored his spirit and gave him grace to go on, and his faith became even deeper through this devastating trial.

  • The most remarkable question of all was by Jesus who took our place and suffered for our sins. In the deepest soul anguish ever, He cried out to His Father, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) He didn’t just “feel” like God forsook Him like we sometimes do. He really was forsaken. For us. Now even when it “feels” like God has abandoned us, we have the steadfast promise that He never will.

God gives us these stories and so many more to shine like beacons of hope that we are not alone. He will always be with us, even when it seems like He’s not.

Why God?

Before Austin sings this song, he shares how God showed him that it’s okay to ask Him the hard questions.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to Me,
all of you who are weary
and carry heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.‘”
Matthew 11:28

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

Psalm 34:18

New This Month: Links, Quotes, Books & More

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Where Do We Go When Hope Runs Out?
When We’re Empty?
When There’s Nothing Left?

“Something More”
by Nick Vujicic

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.
When they are troubled, we will be able to give them
the same comfort God has given us.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NLT

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Books

✎ When God Doesn’t Fix It: Lessons You Never Wanted to Learn, Truths You Can’t Live Without by Laura Story

Laura Story“IS IT POSSIBLE THAT GOOD THINGS CAN COME OUT OF OUR BROKEN DREAMS? Worship leader and recording artist Laura Story’s life took an unexpected turn when her husband, Martin, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Their lives would never be the same. Yes, with God all things are possible. But the devastating news was that no cure existed to restore Martin’s short-term memory, eyesight, and other complications. The fairy-tale life Laura had dreamed of was no longer possible. And yet in struggling with God about how to live with broken dreams, Laura has found joy and a deeper intimacy with Jesus. Laura helps us understand we aren’t the only ones whose lives have taken unexpected turns. She examines the brokenness of some of the heroes of our faith, and shows how despite their flaws and flawed stories, God was able to use them in extraordinary ways. And it was not because of their faith, but because of the faithfulness of their God. God may not fix everything. In fact, although your situation might not ever change or get better, with Jesus you can.” (Amazon Review)


Kara The Hardest Peace: Expecting Grace in the Midst of Life’s Hard by Kara Tippetts

“Kara Tippetts knows the ordinary days of mothering four kids, the joy of watching her children grow … and the devastating reality of stage-four cancer. In The Hardest Peace, Kara doesn’t offer answers for when living is hard, but she asks us to join her in moving away from fear and control and toward peace and grace. Most of all, she draws us back to the God who is with us, in the mundane and the suffering, and who shapes even our pain into beauty.” (Amazon Review)

 

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Hope Harbor

“Emotional abuse is a form of brain-washing that slowly erodes the victim’s sense of self-worth, security, and trust in themselves and others. In many ways, it is more detrimental than physical abuse because it slowly disintegrates one’s sense of self and personal value. It cuts to the core of your essential being, which can create lifelong psychological scars and emotional pain.” (Definition from 30 Signs of Emotional Abuse in a Relationship)

❀ Emotional Abuse Test – Take this emotional abuse test to find out if you’re in an emotionally abusive situation. You’ll also find other information and resources for help at this “Leaving Abuse” site.

❀ Healing the Wounds of Emotional Abuse – “Some general principles, gleaned from professional Christian counselors, for breaking the cycle of abuse in your life and for beginning the recovery and healing process”

Finding My Identity in ChristArticle by Joyce Meyer – “I had made the frustrating, tragic mistake of trying to find the kingdom of God, which is righteousness, peace and joy (see Romans 14:17), in things and other people. I didn’t realize the kingdom of God is within us, as the apostle Paul wrote in Colossians 1:27. My joy—and my identity—had to be found in Christ alone.”

 

Nature Retreat

“There is not one blade of grass,
there is no color in this world
that is not intended to make us rejoice.”
~ John Calvin

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 ➺ Paying Ready Attention – Photo Gallery – If you love birds, Wild Bird Wednesdays are awesome. Stewart posts amazing photos of a bird, and many other bird-watchers link up to share their bird photos.

 ➺ Rich Proctor Photography: My World Through a Camera Lens – Spectacular nature photography

Philip Schwarz Photography Blog – Nature photography in the Upper Midwest

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Quotes

❤︎ “Suffering isn’t a mistake and isn’t the absence of God’s goodness — because He’s present in pain.” ~ Kara Tippetts who won the battle of cancer when she went to Jesus

❤︎ “When Christians stay focused on the cross, their suffering becomes a ‘megaphone of hope’ to the world.” ~ Louie Giglio

❤︎ “Real freedom is freedom from the opinion of others. Above all, freedom from your own opinions about yourself.”  ~ Brennan Manning

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Linking up with: 

Holley – Coffee For Your Heart 

Jennifer – Tell His Story 

Kelly – Cheerleaders of Faith

Barbie – Weekend Whispers