Hey, God? Where are you?

Have you ever felt that God went on vacation just when you needed Him?  Here you are praying your heart out and acting like the next Mother Theresa and suddenly out of nowhere a problem arises and you are amidst some sort of drama that was not caused by you.  “Wait…” you think, “I’m a good person!  What did I do to deserve this?”

Yeah, some religions make you feel like the ONLY reason anyone experiences a problem is because they have done something bad and it’s the universe’s way of getting back at them.  Automatic karma, right? 

I’m reminded of the story in the Bible [ John 9 ] where Jesus and the Apostles came across a blind man who had been blind since birth and they found him begging on the street.  The Apostles stopped and asked Jesus “Who sinned, this man or his parents?” indicating that they thought somehow this man’s suffering was God punishment for either acts he had done [as an infant? Really?] or perhaps something his parents had done.  Jesus tells them, “Nobody sinned, it is to show the works of God to be displayed in him.” 

We can all understand it when we get ourselves into trouble.  We think, “Well I shouldn’t have done that in the first place and that’s why I’m in so much trouble now. I promise never to do it again!” 

But what if there is no rhyme or reason and there is nobody to blame and you have to survive the horrible situation anyhow?  The first step (I think) is to get rid of the negative thinking that there is always someone or something at fault somehow.  So stop searching for it!  Don’t worry, God is listening to you.  God hears you and your prayers.  But He may be ignoring your pleas because the situation may be helping you grow in a way you don’t yet understand.  

Believe it or not, we tend to grow faster in the difficult times.  If you think about it, it’s actually when things are going so well, why question anything?  But in the difficult times, we do all sorts of things to try and avoid the pain…. soul search and/or question our attitudes, behaviors, choices, etc.  We may not understand it but at some point some “good” does come out of a bad situation. 

For me, I truly believe that God loves each and every one of us and there is a reason for everything that happens, although we may not be privy to what God’s plan is right away.  We all think we are “good” people and as long as everything is going well, we have nothing to learn, right?  Well, we are on this planet Earth to learn lessons whether it is faith, patience, compassion, grace, discipline, kindness, gratitude, joy, responsibility, empathy, forgiveness, self-confidence, trust, boundaries, etc..  And like it or not, God is trying to help us learn these lessons for OUR benefit and happiness.

Maybe it’s not a major catastrophe, but a small annoyance that helps you learn too?  I’ve found that if you don’t learn from the small annoyances, God/Universe may send BIG annoyances until the point gets across.  I believe He also puts people (like mentors, teachers, or simply best examples) in our life path to help us learn these lessons in the best way possible – if we choose to follow or pay attention to their teachings.  

For example, I like the story that the Minister Joyce Meyer often tells about her husband Dave…  

Joyce Meyer is a great Minister and Bible Teacher in St. Louis, MO who has a tremendous following.  In her early years, she had been through a LOT of turmoil with being abused by her father and her first husband and pretty much life in general.  After hearing her story it is so hard to believe anyone could go through that.  Anyway . . . because of how she was raised/treated/abused she was harsh, insecure, untrusting, depressed, and most of the time downright grumpy. 

Now here was her 2nd (and current) husband Dave who looked like her polar opposite.  He was a nice happy-go-lucky man without a care in the world and tried to treat her with the utmost kindness and wanted her to experience the happiest life to the fullest.  Of course this happiness would often annoy Joyce to no end.  She thought, “God why am I so miserable, but you make him so happy all the time?  Must be SO nice for him to not grow up the way I did and he can actually enjoy life!  Why is he so lucky?”  

After many many years, she finally realized (and as she so eloquently puts it) “Dave’s joy was the salt that God used to make me thirsty to have what he had”.  God did not take her annoyance away because He wanted her experience the same joy he had. 

So what did God do?  Did God just GIVE her those feelings of joy right to her?  No.  He put Dave in her life to challenge her own way of thinking so she could accept joy in her life.  It definitely did not take overnight and many times Dave wanted to leave her because she was so difficult to live with.  But God helped give both of them strength to endure and help each other and Joyce was finally able to learn the lesson of receiving joy in her life despite her horrible circumstances in her past. 

And now, because of all the abuse she had people can relate to her far more than any other preacher who had a soft cushy life.  She is also able to teach others with her great following of people how to receive joy through her sermons!  So despite all of the bad, God was actually helping her AND He was allowing her to help so many others.
You may not like the situation you are in right now and I would never question how very very difficult it may be.  You may even feel like giving up.  Please don’t give up!  Do yourself a favor and take a little quiet time to do some searching within your heart to find what God might be trying to lead you to learn.  Maybe it’s to forgive a wrong to release you from internal pain?  Maybe it’s to help you not get so attached to an outcome that will really not serve you in the way you think?  Maybe you are over-identifying with someone else’s pain?  Maybe you have a good heart and someone is taking advantage of you?  Whatever the case do your best to keep positive and trust God does have your best interests at heart.  I have faith we will all learn!

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