The faith struggle

The blank computer screen sits here before me begging me to write, and I just stare at it not having a clue what to write about. But writers write, and I am an aspiring writer, so I must type something. The truth is there is so much swirling around in my brain and in my heart that I can’t seem to find a direction. I have many a blog idea floating around and yet nothing seems to come together.  I think I am going to float in the direction of faith, or rather my struggle with it.

                  I was raised in church, and I am very proud of that heritage and upbringing. However, it means in my adulthood I have had to decide if my beliefs are truly mine or simply a part of my childhood. I have concluded I believe what I was raised to believe.  That means I believe in God, I believe in Jesus and His death and resurrection. I believe the bible is God’s book to us.  My struggle is in my faith.  Faith is more than just believing; faith is putting my hand in God’s and trusting him.  Faith is belief in action. That is my struggle.

                    Why do I struggle? Why does anyone? Because life happens.   Life has knocked me down, life has sometimes handed me a giant bowl of sour lemons instead of sweet strawberries. I feel rejected and abandoned.   I pray and I pour my heart to God and I get nothing. Zip, zero, nada, in response. I feel like my prayers and anguish bounce off the walls right back at me.  And then I question God, I struggle in my faith.  I ask myself the question where is God in all this? Is God even still there, does He even still care?

                     Those are tough questions. I am not the first to struggle in my faith and I won’t be the last. I opened my bible to Psalms, and over and over again found that King David sometimes struggled in his faith.  He asked, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why do you remain so distant? Why do you ignore my cries for help?” (Psalms 22:1)  This is a man knocked down by life, and struggling in his faith.  He isn’t the only example.  Thomas one of Jesus’s disciples struggled too. He walked and talked with Jesus, yet after the resurrection needed proof that Jesus was indeed Jesus.  I imagine he was still so grief stricken by the death of his friend that he couldn’t process the man standing before him. He was struggling in his faith.  I think these examples and many others are in the bible to let us know this important principle: IT IS OK TO STRUGGLE WITH OUR FAITH.    So often I feel like it is not ok for me to struggle, question God, and hold back on trusting him.  But it is.  Why?

                      The struggle actually strengthens my faith. What? That’s right. I firmly believe my struggle strengthens my faith.  I don’t always get answers; I don’t always understand the journey.  But I know that every time I come through a time of struggling with my faith I find I have a little bit more than I did when I started, and that it prepares me for the next struggle.

                    Right now I am feeling rejected and abandoned, and that the situation is hopeless and beyond healing.   I am surprised these feelings are not causing a bunch of turmoil in the deep parts of my innermost being. But they aren’t.  In the deep parts of my soul I feel a peace, a peace that surpasses my human understanding.  My brain fires all kinds of tumultuous thoughts at me, and if I held on to them I would lose my peace.   So I do my best to let them go, talk thru it, and maintain my peace.   I am not hearing or feeling God in this place of rejection and abandonment.  I am scared of the outcome of this season.  I am struggling with my faith, and if indeed God will really fix it.  But here is what other seasons of struggle have taught me, and here is why I can have a peace at my deepest parts.   God hasn’t left me, He hasn’t abandoned me.  I may not feel Him but I know He is there listening to my cries for this broken hopeless looking situation to be healed.  I know that just as He takes care of the sparrows and the lilies in the field, He will take care of me no matter the outcome.  I know these things not just in my mind, but in the deepest parts of my soul.

     If you are struggling with your faith, be ok with where you are.  Remember it is ok to struggle and question God.  Remember that your faith will grow and be strengthened in this season, and it will prepare you for the next one.  Faith is a journey not a destination, so take it one day at a time.

 

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September 1, 2013. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.