Here’s a truth: God lets bad things happen to faithful people.
And it makes sense to our heads. We know that he works all things together for the good of those who love him. We know it in our heads. But our hearts? We can recite Romans 8:28 all we want, but our hearts are a different story. Our hearts cry to God in agony, asking him why, why he can’t just make it all go away, because it is killing us slowly. Our hearts are wrenched and torn and bleeding in these times, and they tell us that God is nothing but a cruel master. It hurts. It hurts so terribly. To know that God is allowing these things in our lives hurts, because he tells us he loves us. We wonder how someone who loves us could do this. How could you hurt me so much, God? And while we feel like this, hurting, as we are slowly squeezed to death, all we want is simply to be okay. We pray and pray, asking God to please, please just make our hearts okay. Is that really too much to ask, God? And we try many different things to make our hearts okay.
For me, it’s suppressing the awfulness of it all and telling myself that somehow I am okay, that God has a plan in all of this and I will be okay no matter what happens, that it won’t really hurt, that it’s not that big of a deal. For you it may be something else. And it might work for a while.
But then we get angry, because we aren’t okay, and God isn’t making it better, and everything we are trying isn’t making it better either. We become bitter and angry and again ask, “Why, God?” And then we try something else, because maybe, just maybe that will make us okay.
At some point, though, we break. And when we break, there are two things we tend to do: either we conclude that God is cruel, resign ourselves to the fate of never being okay and of being perpetually bitter about it, or we come to the realization that even though God has allowed this to happen, he has allowed us to not be okay, the only comfort and refuge that exists is in him, in his promises. To be quite honest, it doesn’t make sense to me at all, how a loving God could allow such tragic things to happen and at the same time want us to rest in him. But his ways are not my ways.
And if we realize this, we finally see that it’s okay to be not okay. Because we can’t make ourselves okay. But maybe okayness isn’t all there is. Maybe there’s something better. Maybe that something is resting in God through the pain, through the not okayness, because the only real okayness is found in him.
Kicking and screaming and crying and bleeding though we may be, we will never find rest until we realize that.
Trust in him at all times, O people;
pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.