In this life we know that suffering is pretty much inevitable. Difficulties are a perfect excuse for us to question God. Ironically, for me, it was the opposite. Throughout the trials in my life I never questioned God. I knew exactly why things happened to me. Well, because I deserved them, of course.
My dad wasn’t around because I was not good enough, and then later in my life I was punched and kicked because I deserved it. (I should’ve just shut up when I was told to) I believed that I must have done something at some point in my life to deserve whatever bad things happened to me.
I think I grew up with a skewed image of God. For a long time I related my Heavenly father with my earthly father so I thought I had to be “good enough” for God to love me. I believed I had to work hard at trying to please Him so that He would stay in my life. I always thought to myself “I’ll come to God when I get it together, when I’m better, when I’m not such a mess, when I clean up my act.” Otherwise, he won’t want me, right?
God doesn’t want us to wait until later…He wants us now. He loves us in this exact moment, just the way we are. He doesn’t want us to wait until we’re “better” or “cleaner” or until we “have it all together.” I had a friend of mine once tell me “I know I need to get close to God, but I don’t think I’m ready. I have stuff in my life that I still need to work on.”
That is the whole point!! You come to God BECAUSE He wants to help you work on it! If we could only grasp his unfailing love for us! How different would our lives be? For a long time, I thought God loved me, but I didn’t truly believe it; I couldn’t accept it. I mean, surely this God of the Universe could not take me back after everything I had done. I felt like God was too far away from me. Little did I know, that in my brokenness, He was the closest to me.
In those moments when I wondered what I had done wrong because my dad wouldn’t stay. In the moments when I was driving on a bridge, wondering if I should just drive off of it. In those moments when I cried in the shower so my children wouldn’t hear my screams. In those moments when I lay on the floor after I was beaten. In those moments when I was so drunk I couldn’t feel a thing, wishing that feeling would last forever. In those moments when I felt alone. In those moments when I wondered if I would ever get through it. In those moments I felt worthless. In those moments I was afraid.
In all of those moments God was there. Looking back I can see His presence and love throughout my life even through the most difficult times. How foolish was I not to see it? God knows how many hairs we have on our head, he knows our deepest desires, but yet we think He doesn’t know when we are hurting? Like we can hide from him, like we can pretend we are OK, and He will never know.
He cares for us. He desires for us to come to Him, no matter what the situation. No matter how much we screwed up or how unworthy we feel.
One thing I have learned is to stop feeling sorry for myself. I’ve learned not to question why, and instead trust Him who knows all things. I can choose to let my trials make me bitter, or let them be used as a testimony to bring Glory to God.
Looking back on those moments I can see how God was preparing me for His greater plan. So I choose to rejoice even in the most difficult trials, because it is in the middle of those trials that the Cross becomes real to me.
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1: 2-4 ❤