Thanks for the encouragement, Tim.
Well, you know how I feel about encouragement, Jeannie!
The thing I struggle with is when those hardest of times are inflicted on me by those claiming to represent God…
And they won’t listen to anyone tell them otherwise.
Sadly true 😦
A year ago someone was telling a story of a difficult time for them and how they they only later saw God’s grace. I piped up about how the name for God, El Roi, the God who sees, was attributed in the Bible only after the person came through their ordeal and not during it. The person responded that was all well and good but wouldn’t have been helpful at the time.
At the time I felt “put in my place” but I can now see that when someone is hurting, it is the time to provide comfort myself and not put the onus on God by quoting bible verses. I’m just doing a take off on your post so I hope you won’t see this as criticism, as that is not your intent.
I think you are exactly right. God himself tells us he’s with us when we hurt, and he knows we don’t always see him then but only in hindsight. Still he assures us his presence is real. If he thinks it’s an important assurance then I do too.
Of course, when the person is hurting, the thing to do is what you say. Just be with them. It’s when we are not feeling overwhelmed that we can reflect on God’s promises.
*sigh* It’s the “with” part that gives me a hard time–it’s like, “OK, so if you’re ‘with’ me when, say, I’m attacked by a mugger and you let me get beaten up . . . what difference does ‘being WITH me’ make if you don’t DO anything?!”
Sorry, but that’s how it seemed during my mom’s illness and I don’t know if I’ll ever feel differently about it this side of the grave. I feel like the kid in For Better or for Worse when his dad is yattering on about “someday” you’ll feel better and the boy walks away thinking, “Why are they always talking about someday when I’m trying to live through now?”
And I know some things never will make sense to us in this life. But I still have mental pictures of getting God off in a private corner someday and going, “OK, what was all THAT about?!” But then, this is a topic that always makes me act like a sleep-deprived wolverine . . .
It’s inexplicable to me, MA, and those who say “But you have to remember God is sovereign and everything he does is good and loving” (as true as that is) are missing the point of compassion.
Yeah, well, the point of my shoe won’t miss their shins . . . 😉
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