Life is full of peaks and valleys, or at least that's what my experience of it has been. Just when things are going smoothly and I'm settling into a comfortable routine, something unexpected comes along to shake things up and test my faith. That's where I am right now. Questioning God, and not getting answers.
Aside from some frustrating issues I'm butting my head against, the prayer team at church (of which I am a member) has been getting more and more prayer requests from people going through Job-like experiences. Not just ill health, or the loss of a job or a loved one, but a whole string of such events, one following the other. And then there is my awesome blog friend, Renee, whose life seems to be the brunt of the cruelest imaginable joke of fate, except there is no fate and God does not play cruel jokes.
My powerlessness over all these circumstances, and the seemingly meaninglessness of my prayers makes me so angry I want to scream out to God, are you there? Are you watching? Hearing? Listening to our prayers? What happened to your promises? This is not the way it's supposed to be! Do you even care? Why can't you give these folks even a small reprieve in the midst of their suffering? Just a glimmer of hope?
But, of course, deep in my heart I know that our prayers are never meaningless, and God really does care. It's just that we get so fixated on the piece of the puzzle before us it is hard, at least for me, to trust that God sees the whole picture and is working things out for our ultimate good and for His glory.
I'm thinking of a time about 12 years ago when I was going through another bitter period where many tears were shed as I kept asking over and over again, why Lord did you let this happen to me when I not only prayed, but even begged you to close all the doors if this decision was not of you. In my helpless fury I even started thinking of where else I could go for help, and there was only one answer. Nowhere.
Now that I look back in retrospect to that stage of my life, and even further back to other periods of great anguish and devastation, I can see how death led to newness of life, and closed doors led to better ones opening, even though I would never have believed it had someone told me that would be the case at the time of my hurt. Instead I would have felt outrage at such comments.
So once again, I lay my burdens at the foot of the Cross, and put my trust in Him who gave His life for me (and for you too) so that we could be reconciled with the Father and enjoy eternal life.