Wrestling with God

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I’m wrestling in my soul tonight.  I sat in church tonight and my soul wrestled with my Creator.  I found it hard to sit there and worship a God who says “For I know the plans I have for you….plans to prosper you and not to harm you” but yet allows horrific tragedies. How does this concept of Father intersect with a God who allows a middle aged man to be stabbed to death?  How do you explain this kind of God to this man’s devastated widow and his hurting 7 and 10 year old sons?  Such senseless rage in this world and it takes out a good man, an honorable husband and dedicated daddy.  

Background to this soul wrestling: I got word this morning that a business acquaintance of mine was stabbed in a “random act of violence” while on his annual fishing trip in the Bahamas islands.  

There’s a part of me that feels guilty for having such conflicting emotions inside.  I feel anger.  Anger at the injustice of greed and crime.  Anger at the intense pain and loss that his wife and sons need to wrestle with.  Anger that it stirs up buried pain of loss in my own life.  Anger at God for allowing this when He’s got the power to thwart evil.  And yet I know that without God in my life, I can’t survive this kind of pain, this kind of soul ache.  Even while the anger boils, I know deep down that I can not turn my back on God.  I desperately need His Presence to keep on living.  

And so I bring my conflicting emotions, my raging anger, my knifing hurt, my deep soul aches to my Father and I sit in His Presence.  I rage in His Presence.  I sob in His Presence.  And I relax in His Presence.  I thank Him for allowing me to be honest with Him and for not condemning my conflicting emotions.  I thank Him for understanding me at the most fundamental of levels and for knowing that even while I rage, I long for His Presence.  For knowing that even while I’m lying curled up in on myself, I ache for Him to reach out and pick me up and draw me close to His heart.  His heart – it’s both strong and tender.  It’s constant beating in my ear reminds me that He is here.  His gentleness courses through His heart and wraps me in His comfort.  His strength pulses through His heart and fuels me to keep going one day at a time, keep breathing through one heart ache at a time.  His heartbeat, it calls me close; it woos trust from my battered soul.

And so I here I sit.  

Wrapped in His arms.

Listening to His heart.  

Do I still ache?  Most definitely!  

Do I still rage?  Yes I do.  

Do I still weep with pain?  But of course!

Do I have answers for these injustices?  Absolutely not!  

Do I have peace amid these raging feelings?  Thank God I do!

Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to keep breathing, keep living, keep trusting.

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“Crowd” (Five Minute Friday with Lisa Jo Baker)

Pressing

Jostling

Shoving and pushing

Smells of humanity wafting over her.

Disdain and rejection distancing her.

But yet she fought her way through that crowd just to touch a fringe of cloth.

His cloth.  The cloth of the Healer.  The One who doesn’t reject.  The One who doesn’t disdain.

Murmurs of disgust from the crowd and exclamations of “how dare she” hissed all around her.  Trying to discourage her courage, her passion for healing.  Just a touch of His garment, that’s all she dared hope for. 

“Who touched Me?”  He asked. 

“Oh no!  How could He know?!  Now I’m caught, now I’m going to be humiliated and berated!”  She tries to melt back into the crowd at first but then, she catches a glimpse of His face.

That face that knows all, yet loves deeply.

That face that isn’t accusing but is genuinely desiring to know who had connection.

That face that seeks each pair of eyes in the crowd and intimately knows each one lost in that crowd.

A crowd of humanity with all their brokenness and all their diseases and yet a crowd who stirs in Him the deepest love one could ever hope for, the purest healing one could ever pray for, and the divinest intimacy one could ever dream of.   

Snapshots of my life

My life consists of a lot of this:

Studying…

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And memorizing lab values…..

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All of the brain juice going into studying requires substantial amounts of C.O.F.F.E.E.

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Which leads to me looking like this

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or like this

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When I don’t have enough caffeine in my system, this happens

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Some days I wonder if this craziness is all there is to life but then I have the following moments in life that remind me that life is more than just the craziness.

LIFE IS….

reveling in the little moments,

the snapshots of beauty that God puts in my path.

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LIFE IS….

peaceful moments by the fireplace

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LIFE IS….

friends and happiness

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LIFE IS…

soul snuggles

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LIFE IS….

licking the ice cream bowl out down to the last drop

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And finally,

LIFE IS…..

the light of a new day,

with beautiful mornings

washed in the new mercies every day from our compassionate Creator and Father.

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