I wrote the following post on August 15th, 2011. I kept it tucked away in my heart for almost a year now, in fear of sharing this with those I love the most, however I have realized that some, or even, most of you might resonate with what I had to say. It’s a bit raw and unedited, but I hope you can be encouraged by the truth and transparency in my words.
Since my last day of being in full-time youth ministry, I’ve accomplished a lot and I’ve seen a lot. I went to Kenya, interviewed at half a dozen different churches, trained to work as a sales associate at a clothing store, went to Seattle, started nannying and decided that I don’t like nannying, spent some time with friends, spent more time in the Word, and spent a lot of time feeling discouraged and disappointed, feeling like God has given up on me.
These past four months have been the most trying time in my life and, as gallons of tears, fighting words and one-sided arguments with God transpired, I slowly and painfully realized that these four months have taught me a lot about my faith, my calling and my God.
It’s very easy to walk through the difficult times in our lives assuming that God has given up on us. It’s easy to take on the lonely responsibility of getting through our struggles and hurts by ourselves.
Satan loves it when we push others away, not allowing ourselves to be supported or loved by others, let alone the God of the universe. We are so quick to fall into the sin of loneliness and masochistic independence that our first inclination in hardship is to believe that God is no longer walking with us, no longer planning our future or showing us His will. I’ve seen the strongest Christians, with great faith and hope in Christ, walk away from God because they no longer believe He’s with them.
When did it become standard to think God has given up when the first sign of trial comes our way?
If we’re going to talk about hardship, we need to talk about Job. If anyone has room to complain about God giving up, it’s Job. A faithful follower and an all-around good guy, Job was struck with severe suffering after God allowed Satan to test him. This guy lost it all, yet in the midst of his life falling apart, he still walked with God. When his friends argued that God was gone, that Job was a sinner and his loving Father walked away as a result of his alleged ill-doings, Job remained faithful and in return, God blessed him tenfold. The story ends with Job being a million times more prosperous than he was before and became a true example to God’s faithfulness.
I may not understand what God is doing in my life, but as I take a look at the big picture, I’m able to glimpse into a sliver of understanding that faith is my guide and God is my refuge. He may seem distant, but in the reality of it all, He’s fighting the battle for me.