We’re seeking out what God wants for us right now in terms of jobs. Shaun has a couple of offers on the table, but no great options. Ugh. It's so frustrating.
All of this, to be honest (and I’m whispering now), makes me question whether or not God really has our best interest in mind. I said this to Shaun the other day, and he said, “Please don’t let yourself go there. It’s just destructive.” And there is some truth to that…if I stay there.
But is it possible to ‘go there’ without abandoning your faith? I believe so. I’ve heard and read over and over during the past 4 months that you have to go to the depths of your pain before true healing can take place. And, I think that questioning is a part of going down into that dark pit of pain so that you can climb back up onto solid ground with a unwavering faith and a new perspective on life.
I read Psalm 73 earlier this evening. In it, a man named Asaph grapples with the age-old question, “Why do bad things happen to good people?”
He recounts the pain through which he’s walked and says in verse 2, “My feet had almost slipped; I had almost lost my foothold.” In my words (and experience), “I started to go crazy, and almost threw in the towel on God.” I’ve so been there at times, questioning whether or not it’s even worth it to trust in Him.
Asaph looks around at all of these people who defiantly turn away from God and live however they wish, and they’ve got everything he’s missing…everything he has so achingly lost. He says, “They have no struggles,” in verse 4, and he’s so angry and bitter! Been there, too. “Of all the people in the world, why us, God?”
This is precisely the tone of the first 20 verses of Psalm 73.
But this is how Asaph ends the chapter (verses 21-28):
“When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. Those who are far from you will perish; you destroy all who are unfaithful to you. But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign LORD my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.”
Ah, Asaph makes it to the other side of the pit. Back on solid ground with a renewed, steadfast faith.
I wonder how much time there was between verse 20 and 21, though. And what did it take for Asaph to get past his bitterness, envy and anger?
I think I know the secret…actually, I’m confident that I know the secret…(I’m whispering again)…worship. Worship. Not in exuberant song, necessarily. Usually just in sitting humbly before God and giving Him the time and space to do His healing, revolutionary work. And choosing to honestly worship…through tough questions…through unstoppable tears…through down-right, angry thoughts and emotions. Just to bring it all before Him and wait patiently for God to walk with me up the muddy hill to the other side of the pit.
I’m thinking about maybe asking God if we could pick up the pace, though.