Nov
08

When the Heavens Seem Silent

By

crisis “My faith is 100% gone.” This heart cry of a dear new friend of mine reverberated in my spirit.

As she recanted how difficult life had been as of late, this beautiful young woman shared her struggle with the issue of faith.  As I read her words, I could completely identify with her feelings.  I had been at that point before. 

“Where are you, God?”

“Why are you not answering?”

“Have you abandoned me?”

“What good is prayer?”

You know the times when the heavens are silent.   When all we can see or know or feel at the present moment screams that either God has abandoned us, is not real after all, or certainly doesn’t care that our heart is breaking and we are going under spiritually.

 It’s like we are down for the count.  Satan has us knocked down and the referee is counting to 10, waiting to declare us out of the game.  Everyone is watching, whether cheering or jeering, but no one is able to reach a hand to us to help us. It’s our game.  We are going under, and all we can feel  is that everyone is watching, even God Himself, and no one is helping.

Our hearts screams, “DOESN’T ANYONE CARE?” “WHERE ARE YOU, GOD?”

It is the point of crisis for our faith. Will our hearts be rescued? Will we continue in our service of God or we will throw in the towel and walk away? Surely God will not allow that!

Yes, He will.

Huh? You don’t mean that God will allow my faith to be tested to the breaking point? Oh, yes He will.

Cruel?  Well, it seems that way in the moment. Yet what is happening is a gift.

You might say, “How could this be a gift?”  I can only share what I’ve experienced and what I have found to be true in the lives of others whom I know and those I know throughout the Word.

Here is what happens inside you during a crisis of faith: God allows you to be tested in ways that bring up every weak, wounded place in your heart and when they surface, we have an opportunity to see them, and if we will allow Him, God will heal and change us.

 God invites us into this divine wrestling match after which we will never be the same. We will forever walk with a limp. Oh, we had limps before but of a different sort. Limps of our own making or the making of other humans, but this limp is a divine wounding. It has purpose.

You see, as we wrestle with God, we encounter the Powerful One.  We try every defense mechanism we have. We try every coping strategy. We try every “go to” thing that we know. Nothing works. The basic cry of our heart becomes, “GOD DOES NOT CARE!”

In truth, it is His great love, His endless care, His unwavering commitment to us that has invited us into this place.

It is God’s commitment to make us into the image of His dear Son that is the overarching story of our lives.

Guess what? God is not super concerned with our comfort. Our neat theological boxes. Our questions which demand an answer. What He is concerned with is our transformation.

You might say, “So you are saying that God is abandoning me in order to change me?” Well, I am saying that it may seem God is abandoning you yet He is performing an amazing transformational work in your life.

God is committed to our deep change whether our circumstances were caused by our own sinfulness, the sinfulness of others, or the enemy himself. God is completely committed to using EVERYTHING for His glory and our good. He is the great recycler. Nothing wasted with Him!

Christ himself felt abandoned by God on the cross. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken me?” he cried. Oh, he knew the answer theologically. He knew the answer, yet in his humanity (remember he was 100% human, 100% God), he couldn’t find God in the moment. In fact, God had turned His face away. He allowed the sins of us all and of all humanity to be literally placed upon Jesus. Ever thought about how painful that must have been for God? Did He not love His son?  Was He not committed to His son? Oh yes, He loved His son, yet He was willing to go through the pain of those moments in order to redeem us, in order to be with us forever.

It was His relentless love for us that allowed the moments of horrific hell.

You see God is not as concerned with His PR (public relations) as we think He should be. He is secure. He is at peace. He is. And because He is, He can be totally committed to us, love us completely, and at the same time, allow us to suffer.

Now,  notice that I said allow. Every bad thing that comes into our lives is not designed by God, yet they are allowed. Our invitation is to be changed in and through the suffering.

When Peter zealously declared he’d never forsake Christ, God knew Peter had some tough days ahead. All of his fears would come up. He would fail. He would sin.  He would deal with shame and guilt. And God would restore him and use him beyond his wildest imagination.

There is something about pain and suffering that has the potential to refine us, deepen our relationships with God and others, and make us kinder, gentler, more caring people. We become more humble, less self-centered, more compassionate, more Christlike. Ah, remember what I said about God’s purposes?

Surely there must be an easier way! 

All I know is that in the most painful times of my life, I’ve found new depths of God, new facets of His love and faithfulness.  And I find that my limp constantly reminds me of my Savior.  My limp also connects me with humanity.

Romans 8:18 reminds us that the sufferings of this present moment are not to be compared to the glory which is to come. Hebrews 12 teaches that when we our lives are shaken, the things that remain cannot be shaken.

There are a few things you can be assured of.

God is able to work redemptively in whatever is happening in your life that is causing you pain.

God is not surprised. He knew this from the beginning of time. He knew all of it when he called us to Himself.

God wants to use your crisis to deepen and your relationship with Him and with others.

God has not abandoned you.

He is caring for you in ways you cannot imagine.

God is not knocked off-balance because you are struggling with your faith. He is able to deal with your doubts. He is actually pleased that the unhealed, unhealthy stuff inside you that causes you to doubt who He is coming to the surface because is in the light that God can change you.  God can work when the hidden things are revealed.  

So if you find yourself with no answers, exhausted, and out of faith, it may just be that you are about to discover the riches of God as never before. Wrestle on, dear friend. The limp is worth it.

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Categories : Crisis

Comments

  1. Cindy says:

    I’m still wrestling Mikki, everyday,thank you for sharing,love you!:)

  2. Cathleen says:

    “There is something about pain and suffering that has the potential to refine us, deepen our relationships with God and others, and make us kinder, gentler, more caring people. We become more humble, less self-centered, more compassionate, more Christlike.” This is so hard. I wish there was an easier way to become more like Christ.

  3. Accident Sign from God…

    I found your post a good read so I have added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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