I should have written this piece a long time ago but life got in the way.
A couple of months ago I started a series on “21st Century Christian Living” I believe this is the last piece under that series. Maybe that’s why it has taken this long.
It’s easy to be very theoretical about living as a Christian and not just in the religious aspects of it – going to church and all that but actually being a follower of Christ in spite of life’s struggles. How do you not compromise on whom you believe but life doesn’t care about that. There are real struggles every day, not necessarily wrestling good and evil but being who are right now and who you know yourself to be. Not sure if that makes any sense on paper but I promise you, it does in my mind and that’s mostly the battle that rages within.
The title for this one is “You love me? Then where are You?” When I speak to people about believing in the God –Jesus Christ, the number one thing they ask is “How can there be a God watching all of life’s struggles and He does nothing about it?” “Why is there war, sickness, pain etc.?” “Why didn’t God save my mother? I wouldn’t have had such a tough childhood if she had survived” “When was God when I was being raped and screamed and cried for help? I wouldn’t be dealing with HIV and though I love my child, maybe I would have a family, the family I dreamed of if I wasn’t damaged by that experience” “So don’t tell me there is a God that cares for me or loves me!” The list of valid questions is endless and I am sure you have yours too. How can a God who claims to love us immeasurably and fiercely do nothing when my heart is breaking into a million tiny little pieces? “If He would just heal that ache, if only He’ll just send me that thing or person then would I be happy/free.”
I don’t understand this too but a couple of weeks ago, I read the book of Ecclesiastes and I must say it was a relief to know that even the wisest man that ever lived had the same questions that I have. You should read it when you get the chance. He basically said that everything in life is fleeting. He had witnessed the same unfairness that we see today. Wicked people prospering while good people stay suffering. We believe that people should reap what they sow but life doesn’t work that way. So what then is the point? Why chase after the way of Christ when it seems to hurt more than not following Him?
Life is like chasing shadows. I don’t know why good things happen to bad people and why it seems like God is absent when it hurts most. I don’t know why a couple’s joy of parenthood is cut short by a sick child. I don’t know why you apply for multiple jobs you are qualified for and don’t get an offer. I don’t know why your father had to leave you alone and skew your perspective on men in general. I don’t know why you weren’t cared for as a child and as a result, you are trapped in this box of independence that’s stifling you out of any hope at healthy relationships. I don’t know why there are people who are more privileged in life than others just because of where or to whom they were born.
However, one thing that I know is that even when it hurts, I still feel that He’s there with me. Encouraging me, telling me to be strong and helping me get through it. Being Christian doesn’t absolve me of life’s struggles. It doesn’t make me immune to anger, heartbreak, disappointment, helplessness, fear, confusion or anything else that is life but, knowing Him is what makes life worth it.
Knowing that life isn’t linear and there are nuances to every phenomena – good or bad, I try, hard as it may to enjoy them moments when all the stars align and everything seems to click. This could be difficult though especially when you have gotten used to things not working out. When they finally do, you can’t even savor the moment because you fear it wouldn’t last and your track record in disappointments would soon take this moment away.
Don’t stop believing in Him, especially when it hurts, you may never know why; you may never solve world hunger, you may never find a cure to all diseases, you may never heal the sick or raise the dead but, you will find little pockets in life that prove to you that He is there and He listens. Hold on to those moments as if your life depends on it because it really does. These little pockets of clarity is what pulls you through all of what is life.