“I am not at ease, neither am I quiet, neither have I rest; But trouble cometh.” (Job 3:26)

Today has not really been my day and neither was yesterday. Or the day before that… or the week before that, the month before that, the year before that… Life and the world have generally pummeled me for the past two years or so. Just when one not so pleasant experience or event ends another begins (all of varying magnitudes, of course.)

I am not interested in recounting what happened when and where and with whom. Most of the details are hazy now anyhow. Instead, I want to focus on my reactions to everything, because after all, they say you really know a person’s true colors once the individual is placed in some sort of adversity.

My reaction to the adversity that kick-started my two rocky years was one of sorrow and fear… and one of rocky faith. At first I prayed and clung to God with all my might hoping and wishing and praying that He’d answer my prayers and resolve things the way I wanted. After all, He did say “ask and it shall be given to you”–at least that was my reasoning at the time. When things did not go the way I had hoped and prayed for my faith took a sharp nosedive. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe anymore. I just didn’t understand why God would let bad things happen. But bad things have been happening the world over since the beginning of time… my question was actually, “Why would God let something bad happen to me and the people in my life? I love God and I go to church and I pray, therefore I must be immune, right?”

It became clear then that my faith and belief was far shallower than I thought, but it would take some time for me to reach that realization. At first I was angry with God and all that I believed, then I was exceptionally sad, and finally I hit apathy. All the while, I still went to church and prayed and read the Bible but I had a bone to pick with my Redeemer. Things were not getting better; if anything, things were simply getting worse and worse.

I decided to switch gears at that point. Maybe I was praying for the wrong things. Instead of praying for bad things to stop happening maybe I should just pray for good things to happen. So I prayed. I wasn’t particular… anything good would have sufficed. Maybe I was going to take the LSAT and score a 180 and turn out to be the legal prodigy of the century. Maybe a great guy was going to come along and sweep me off my feet (I’ve since stopped holding my breath for that. I don’t think I was made for sweeping.)

The world-shattering great thing I kept praying for wasn’t happening. Yes, good things did happen, but not of the magnitude I was hoping for.

I had it all wrong.

It was then that I began to search for the pattern in my prayers, in what drove my faith and I was sorely disappointed when I found out what motivated me—THINGS. I wanted bad things to stop happening, good things to happen, things, things, things.

You would think that I would have felt enlightened and begun to work on rebuilding my relationship with God at that point, but I had to go through one more step before I got there. I became even sadder then. I was downright deplorable. God gave me salvation, grace, love, and life and all I wanted was for him to give me stuff. I was a spoiled little brat. I remember crying a lot during this stage. It was almost an unconscious attempt to purge myself of all my mistakes and misconceptions through my tears.

After that I found myself empty of everything, of all thoughts and conceptions of faith, religion, God. And I began to rebuild, to reconceptualize, and to just breach the surface of understanding. God gave us salvation, love, and grace. That is more than enough. Things don’t matter. The focus must always be on the One who loves you. Things will come and go, but He and His love will always remain.

Things haven’t gotten much easier. There are still bumps in the road. But I am loved by Love Himself. So come what may… let the world rage against me, I’ll sing with the Psalmist, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want…”

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