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There have been lots of thoughts churning in my head the last few days – of course when are there NOT lots of thoughts churning in there?  Anyway, here is a window into my crowded head if you’re so inclined to read on:

I think part of my feeling distant from God lately is that I’ve been angry with Him – angry that He hasn’t answered prayers the way I thought.  I mean, did he even take into consideration the five point argument I shared with Him about why my way was good?  And how about that time-table of His?  Why do I think that if something doesn’t happen in a few weeks or even months that it means God isn’t there or doesn’t care?  That is pretty silly.  As much as I thought I was resisting the enemy, I had fallen prey again to his ploy of self-pity and forgetfulness.

Forgetfulness?  About all God has done in my life and in the lives of those around me.  What other proof do I need that He is there and active in our lives?  That He really does care about each of us in love.   There are a number of Bible verses that tell God’s people to recall the things God has done throughout their lives so they won’t lose hope, so they will stay on track, so they will be thankful.  I’ve been forgetting to remember.

Life is hard.  That’s pure and simple truth.  Why would I expect it not to be?  I think the moments of reprieve from stress or change are simply that – an oasis, a vacation, a break.  I was reminded last night in a worship time at my parent’s church that in Isaiah 43 (a beautifully encouraging passage) God doesn’t say “IF you go through deep waters, I will be with you.  IF you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.”  He says WHEN you do.  Trials and hard times don’t just line the path, they ARE the path.  The reason being, I’m beginning to understand, is because that is what deepens our need and desire for God.  If He didn’t shake away the things we think we need and want we’d never get to the center of our souls and realize the only One who can meet that deepest, lifelong desire we feel is God.  Just God.  More than enough God.  Holy, merciful, faithful God.  The God whose deepest desire is the same as the one He implanted in each of us – to have intimate relationship, for us to know Him completely, to share in love.

I find it interesting that when I post about something hard or open up about doubts I have, anger I feel, etc. I get far more responses from people about that post.  We crave knowing we’re not the only one to feel a certain way, not the only one to struggle with questions about our faith or life with Jesus.  I’m here to tell you, you’re not the only one.  I fully believe one of our biggest tasks in life is to make sure others feel less alone on this path.  If we struggle, we do it together.  If we question, we listen to one another and ponder together.  If we’re angry we vent to one another and offer comfort to each other.  But we keep walking and pursuing God.

Last night I asked God to forgive me for entertaining those thoughts that He didn’t care or wasn’t doing anything for me or my family.  Today My mom has been helping me recall ways God’s worked in our family’s life over the years and it has bolstered my faith.  She and my Dad always make me feel less alone.

Let the words of Isaiah 43 encourage you if you’re one of the hurting, angry, or bewildered ones today:

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
      O Israel, the one who formed you says,
   “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
      I have called you by name; you are mine.
 When you go through deep waters,
      I will be with you.
   When you go through rivers of difficulty,
      you will not drown.
   When you walk through the fire of oppression,
      you will not be burned up;
      the flames will not consume you.
  For I am the Lord, your God,
      the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
  … because you are precious to me.
      You are honored, and I love you.

 “Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”  Isaiah 43:1-5  NLT

God is good.