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Spiritual Growth

And Then, We Enter into Darkness.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

When God’s decisions match human understanding, His ways are fascinating and humbling. They touch our souls in the most profound manner and we are thankful to have experienced His goodness. We feel as though nothing can stop us from believing in His mercy as His love invades our hearts. And then, like clockwork, it happens. Life unfolds in ways that seem inexplicably cruel, and we enter into what feels like complete darkness.

But we don’t give up, at least not yet. We search for that parting of the Red Seas kind of outcome, where He asks us to trust Him, and then He delivers unimaginable results. We want His inventive and creative wisdom, that reaches far beyond our own preconceived solutions. We search, and we wait, and then we grow weary. When we realize that the results will not match our expectations, we mourn. We mourn the loss of our hope, that unbreakable trust, and the right to believe that God is more than we could ever imagine. The darkness seems permanent, and we cry out – whether softly or with anger and disgust – where are You God?

[We] have wearied the Lord with [our] words; Yet [we] say, “In what way have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them.” Or, “Where is the God of justice?”

Malachi 2:17

The Pain Will Come.

We know life isn’t fair. Maybe we understand that we live in a world of sin, and because of sin, we experience pain. Maybe we don’t, but we know the pain will come. Knowing, however, doesn’t make the sting hurt any less. As the pain becomes more consuming, our vision becomes less clear. We seek God because we want Him to make the pain stop. We want people to suffer for their actions. We want to be spared with mercy. We demand fairness and equity. Good should receive good; Bad should receive bad. And when this logic falters, we wear down God with our prayers and we shun Him with our anger. As our patience runs thin and solutions seem final, we stop crying out. We accept defeat and our relationship with God is left damaged.

But Do We Still Trust God?

Maybe. Sometimes. Occasionally. Situationally Dependent. We want to trust but verify. It doesn’t always work that way. Trusting God is not like trusting each other. There are times when the outcomes don’t make sense to us. The results would seem to dictate that evil wins and darkness rules. I’ve come to realize, however, that as we stare at God in confusion, He’s staring right back at us. He wants to know what we plan on doing with the cards that have been dealt to us. On the contrary, we’re wondering why we have those cards in the first place. We become like the servant who buried his one coin (Luke 19:11-26), not making the most of what we have because we question the starting amount. Even though it may appear that the inputs aren’t ideal, we are never at a disadvantage. God has us covered, He just isn’t using an umbrella to shield us from the rain.

When Life Isn’t Fair

To trust God is to accept that He is God, and that is reason enough to trust the outcomes. Unfortunately, we usually trust God more when we like His answers. If we can understand His logic, then He seems logical. That’s a God we can defend and explain. That’s a God whose thinking is like our thinking, but that’s quite a dangerous way of thinking. There will be times when His direction goes contrary to our thinking. Maybe we end up seeing the big picture, but sometimes we don’t. It’s okay to struggle with His decisions. We may falter because of doubt. But don’t stray away from God, because only then, does darkness actually win.

Sharing in these experiences is critical to our spiritual journey. We have all experienced doubt, and there are times when we question God’s presence. There’s no need to judge someone in the struggle. Our role is to support each other through the challenges, and celebrate in the triumphs. Sometimes we can’t get out of our own darkness, and we need someone else’s light. God expects us to share our light because there is no shame in the emotions that come with life’s trials. Take comfort, however, in knowing that God has a timetable, even if it isn’t ours. Evil never gets the last word – we just may not be around for the surprise ending.

Thank you for reading. Please leave your thoughts below!

Love’s an action
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