Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Blame Game

I know a lot of Christians that continually struggle with doubt. I have never been a questioner or doubter when it comes to matters of faith. I'm not sure if that's because I was raised with it or if it's a personality thing. But recently my faith has been shaken.

This past summer I've known of several young children that died tragically: a drowning, a special needs boy who died due to complications from an infection and a baby who died at 4 months after a heart surgery. I don't know any of these families very well but it was still tough news.

Last week we got word that a young man who grew up in our church had lost their 2 year old daughter in a tragic accident. Although they don't live in Wrenshall, we know this family. Mike officiated their wedding, the Dad was in our youth group and on Mike's football team. Our kids are the same age and they visit our church when they are here with their family.

So the inevitable question is Where is God? If He's loving, how could he let this happen? If He is all-powerful, he could have stopped it.

At the funeral the Mom shared her testimony. Her earliest childhood memories are of being molested. She had two abusive marriages. Her oldest daughter was diagnosed with and survived cancer. She said she used to blame God but she realized that she couldn't. She recognized that God loved her and wanted what was best for her even on a tough road. She didn't want anyone to blame God for this death. There certainly are a lot of difficult days ahead for this family, but they celebrated her life and rejoiced that she was safe with her heavenly Father. I was so disturbed I hadn't really thought of that.

Now, I'm a good Christian, a Pastor's wife! I would never be angry at God or blame God or would I? The good news is that we have a God that allows us to air out our emotions: anger, grief, disappointment. In the Psalms, David lets it all out. He doesn't hold back on asking God the tough questions.

In Psalm 35:17 he says, "O Lord, how long will you look on? Rescue my life from their ravages, my precious life from these lions. " Later on in verse 22 he says O Lord, you have seen this; be not silent.

Psalm 43 starts with "Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nations; rescue me from deceitful and wicked men. You are God my stronghold. Why have you rejected me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"

So even David, a man after God's own heart, had time where he questioned and wondered what God was doing. But he always comes back to the love and hope of our gracious Savior. The end of Psalm 43 says
Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.

I'm so thankful that this family showed that hope to me and everyone else around them. I need to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus during tough times, not my circumstances. He is the Rock of my faith. Hard times, questions and emotions will come and go, but He will never change. Lesley has a blog with lots more on this. The address is thebigpicturelawyman.blogspot.com

Job 2:9-10
His wife said to him, "Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!" He replied, "You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?" In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

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