Where is God when life falls apart? This isn’t a new question, but a question we often ponder when it seems we have lost everything . . . or something . . . or someone. During these difficult times, we feel that God is so far away.
A few years ago, a dear friend of mine experienced a series of catastrophic calamities. Identity theft left her bank accounts empty. Hurricane Sandy took her home. An affair ended her marriage. And her son was diagnosed with autism. In her shattered state, even those at her church walked away from her. They did not know what to do with someone whose faith was falling off the cliff. So instead of staying close, they scattered and churchy chatter ran amuck.
She didn’t know if she could move on.
There seems to be one universal experience shared when our lives are shattered: an abundance of questions. In addition, if one has trusted Christ as Savior, pain seems especially unfair. And it doesn’t help that many people—often Christians—try to fix our shattered selves with unsolicited advice, misquoted Scripture, and a good dose of judgment.
Most often, pain and loneliness are connected at the hip.
Maybe you or someone you know is suffering. I am so sorry. Being human and broken often don’t make sense. Our questions about God and truth and what to believe are endless, and during times of suffering, many of these questions go unanswered.
But to find peace, we must let go of these questions and put them at the cross. It may help to know I live with pain very few know about. I’ve asked God just about every question, and I’ve learned He can handle my questions. Like my friend, I have learned to accept the truth that my Lord made me, and He has the right to choose what to reveal and what to withhold. We don’t serve a mean God. We do serve a sovereign God who has a plan for our lives.
And Scripture promises that pain is always part of that plan.
Questions We Wrestle With
If you are in pain, I bet you are wrestling with some questions. That’s okay; we all have them. However, God may not answer in a way that will satisfy you because life isn’t about satisfying us; it’s about surrendering to Him.
I have found three specific questions to God we must place at the foot of the cross in order to finally be at peace.
- Why did You allow this to happen? (. . . which really means, “I don’t like this, it’s not fair, and I have a right to receive a reasonable answer!” Ouch!)
- Who or what caused this? (. . . which really means, “I want to blame my problems on someone else because I’m angry and unwilling to accept what has happened!”)
- When will You fix this? (. . . which really means, “I believe I have a right to be more comfortable and happy, and this is getting in the way!”)
Let Me Hear from You
Do any of these questions echo through your mind? Do you think you’d be happy if the Lord answered them? Do you think your circumstances would change or your longings continue if He answered them? Actually, these questions reveal much about our human nature—our pride, selfishness, demanding attitude, and bitterness—character issues Christ is refining in us as we kneel at the foot of the cross. In our comments section, I would love to hear about your questions and offer you care and comfort—which come at the foot of the cross. By the way, my friend made it through those awful years and is one of my heroes today.
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