Our small group at church started up again tonight. How I cherish that time with my friends and brothers and sisters in Christ. It's just good to be able to be honest and open about life. Sometimes we get good at pretending that life is "fine thank you." A standard answer I have given in some of the darkest days of my life. Haven't we all? We get so accustomed to feel good answers. Giving and receiving them I think. Tonight one of the questions posed was: Was there ever a time in your life where you felt like God had just left you? Abandoned you in a storm. I didn't answer out loud, yet in my mind I might have screamed said quietly "yes."
Then, I followed the rules. I ate as they instructed. I lay in bed for months like the doctors told me to. I prayed. I was thankful. I prayed scripture over myself and my children. In my heart, I just knew that God was good. He had always proved His faithfulness to me in such tangible and often loud ways. I still had fear. But, I had an inner peace that crowded out those worst-case-scenario thoughts that would try to sneak in from time to time.
Then, that dark day came. Like a flood, my heart quaked and I saw for the first time my faulty belief system. This stronghold of believing that I could earn my way to a good outcome. I couldn't. You can't either. And although I knew this in my head, I had snatched up this merit based faith somewhere along the way. I had traded God's truth for a lie. So much so that when my circumstance turned desperate, I wasn't sure how I could trust God. Thoughts like "Was this your plan the whole time, to let me go through all this to just polish me up for Heaven?" I just knew in my heart that my kids would live and I would die. I believed this lie. I felt the lie down to the very core of my body. My oxygen was weak. Doctors and nurses were giving me "protocol" speeches. I knew I would go to Heaven. But, I felt that God had pulled the wool over my eyes. "Why did you bring me so far just to kill me?"
I was asking God hard questions. I was speaking pretty horribly to my Lord, too. I was desperate. See, my storm had clouded my vision. All I saw was the rain and the lightning. I heard the thunder and the gloomy reports. But, my perspective was limited. God doesn't break promises. He never has and He never will. It was a dark day for me. And when I woke up to sunshine the next morning, I realized that God is good even when circumstances are not.
"He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bands apart." Psalm 107:14
Has there ever been a time in your life when you felt like God abandoned you?