How many times, in your journey with the Lord, have you doubted Him and felt abandoned? Perhaps during intense grief over a loved one, a loss of intense challenge, such as bankruptcy or a home burned to the ground. Was it possibly a stinging, unfair divorce or a consuming illness without any hope of surviving? Even a prison sentence or living in the grip of an addiction?
There are many life changes that affect our faith and belief in God and our souls inhale the sorrow as we taste the bitterness of failure and lack of trust in God. We go through the motions as expected of us as Christians but our hearts are heavy with dark pain. Shadows hover around withholding light.
Isaiah 43 tells us. ‘I, (God), have summoned you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you, the rivers will not sweep you away, walk through fire, you will not be burned nor will flames set you ablaze’. For I am with you, do not fear.’ Even when we struggle he has promised not to abandon us so be confident that God will not leave us. If we give what we can of our trust it will grow more. That still leaves the issue of ‘WHY US LORD?’, we cry when going through tough times.
In my case, our family home burned down, three miscarriages began our family, a diagnosed brain tumor the size of an orange for my husband, resulting in some disability only to be diagnosed with the regrowing of it four years later and more surgery. Later, he was advised of leukemia and that led on to death after Alzheimer’s at age sixty six. I was alone and widowed and reeling from years of heartache.
In chapter eleven, Matthew, it says, ‘A tree is recognized by its fruit.’ And I went searching for soul fruit. A prayer I read was, ‘Lord, give me freedom and courage to receive your gift of rest.’ The years had exhausted me but it was God’s wisdom and teaching that blessed me. In every experience with him, Jesus taught me, gave me strength, increased his love, allowing me to share my story with others, showing me his way and his plan for my life. Did I doubt, did I waver, did I weep until he ministered? Yes to all.
In Ezra 9, verse 8, the Lord offers us a firm place in the sanctuary and gives light to our eyes…verse 9: He has granted us new life to rebuild……and that was how God taught me to rest in his precious, loving presence and to heal my past. His plans are unknown in our lives at times but he knows what he is doing. Psalm 71:‘Your power and goodness Lord, reach to the highest heavens’.
But, for me, it was his relentless unfailing love that lifted me from abandonment and grief to restoration. May it be so for you.