Trusting God in the darkness

I used to think that really bad things would never happen to me. I used to look at the really bad things that happened to other people (not too closely and only when I had to) and I thought that I was immune to those things.

My reasoning was based on my belief that I make excellent decisions. I genuinely seek to do what’s right, and I have faith – maybe more faith than other people have.

If you’re disgusted by that, that’s fair.

If I thought I was better than other people, I didn’t realize it. I actually just felt grateful – grateful that I was raised with love and faith and prayer, and grateful that I’d been taught to have high standards and make good choices.

Then really bad things started happening to me and to people I love. This was confusing and scary. I didn’t understand how this was possible.

I decided to stay with the strategy that had always worked: good decisions, do the right thing, have faith that God will bless my efforts. And I realized that I needed more love – in fact, I needed a lot more love and grace in my life. Love is powerful and God is love. I also realized that my faith needed to be a faith that trusted God no matter what, even when that meant being very patient in the midst of a trail that seemed totally against God’s will.

I became a person I liked a lot more than the person who thought bad things would never happen to her. There were good lessons to be learned from the storms.

But, I still thought I could trust God to keep really bad things from happening to me. Even if they happened to other people.

Now… now I just trust God and I don’t know what that means.

It is not easy to make peace with the fact that the world is a very unsafe place – that everyone’s world is an unsafe place. I’m not sure I want to make peace with that.

Jensen and I have both reflected on ways we have seen God intervene in our life and wondered in desperation why God would change the outcome in those situations and not in this one.

There is no satisfying answer. There is really no answer at all.

I can only cry out to God like David in the Psalms.

“I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.” Psalm 145: 5,6, 10

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