Faith, grief, complaining, & avoiding the wilderness.

questionReports… I live in a world of reports, bad and good. Mostly, they’re bad, but God is good. As mentioned in earlier posts, I’m really working on my countenance and my faith. I desire to walk in victory despite my circumstances. Just to give you some context, here is my reading & listening list from this last week:

Obviously, you don’t need to read all of that. I actually read and listened to a lot more, not to mention all of the scriptures I’ve been reading. Basically, I’ve been getting a few big ideas clearly out of my devotional diet this week:

  1. I need to stop feeling defeated and looking like I feel defeated.
  2. I need to have faith that God will work in my life.
  3. I need to stop complaining or dwelling on this elephant in the room or it will delay God’s work.
  4. I need to put God first and work on me.

This week, I’ve been trying to do that. I’ve had friends an colleagues comment that my mood seems lighter and that they see God’s work in me.

Last night, I got some bad reports from my kids. I had this sick feeling all evening, and I fought it. I prayed. I took thoughts captive. I asked for more faith. I repeated Mark 9:24 repeatedly. I assured God again and again that I could see him at work and that I trusted him.

After I had my kids settled in bed, I went out back to pray. I got on my knees, and I called God, “Daddy” for the first time in my life. Then, “I cried my guts out”. I can’t describe it any other way. I couldn’t breathe. The sobs came in heaves. I thought I was never going to stop. I realized later as I walked and talked with God, that this was a bubble of grief that burst to the surface. I wasn’t in disbelief. I was in pain! I needed comfort. So, I find myself with these questions:

  1. How much is it okay to mourn the rending of my one-flesh relationship?
  2. Does this count as complaining against God, as the Israelites did?
  3. Considering Isaiah 43:19, should I suck it up and smile?
  4. Does God get tired of hearing my cries and comforting me in my pain?

I know that God is described as my heavenly Father, a relationship I have long struggled to understand because of my own childhood. I am a dad, now, and I do not tire of comforting my children.

This morning, I read about Elisha and his servant’s encounter with the King of Aram’s army, in Charlyne Cares.

…Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. 2 Kings 6:17

I know that He is with me. I know he has surrounded my family and I with his angel armies. I know that He is at work. I still hurt. How much is it okay to hurt?

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