At some point our faith and real life collide in a way that doesn’t quite make sense. We are told all these things about God and as children (depending on our childhood) we believe no questions asked. We have no reason to question. I remember singing Jesus loves me… but I was a scared child and nightmares were a constant. I spent most of my childhood nights sleeping on my parents floor huddled in the fetal position in fear of what might be lurking down the dark hallways in my house. Then in elementary school my grandparents got divorced and I remember sitting in my parents big bath tub trying to explain to myself how you can love someone and hurt them? Then my mom started getting sick and we prayed but nothing happened. And where was God? Suddenly he was this big God who didn’t comfort me in my nightmares or heal a broken marriage, the one who never made my mother better, or sent angels to wipe my tears, this wasn’t the God I sung about in vacation bible school. It didn’t add up.
So I ran. I ran away from what I didn’t understand into something that I could control. The Jesus covering I had placed over the wounds of this world was wearing thin and life was starting to break through the cracks.
I run up against the same problem every day but Jesus never asked me to explain him he asked me to trust him. He didn’t promise me a life free of pain and stress he just promised me that my trusting in him provides me hope. I have come up to many a rough patch since my childhood, many times I’ve wondered where God is in the brokenness, where is he in the hurting, where is he on the nights the pain takes your breath away? I don’t know but what I don’t understand doesn’t change what I believe.
I believe God sent his only son to die an excruciating death to pay for my sins.
I believe God pursued me in a personal way and cared about the pit of sin I was in.
I believe that God is faithful and what I don’t understand isn’t as important as the big picture of the story God is writing. I needed a savior and he provided the saving. I was dead but now I live. If we focus on what we can’t explain, what we don’t know, we miss so much of what we do. Ann Voskamp is always challenging in her books for us to remember what we already have instead of what we are lacking, to name the things that make us grateful. I have a million reasons why I believe and I can trust when this world seems backwards. It just takes the act of sitting down and naming them out.
The cross, this life, my renewed heart, my family, my love, the list can continue for pages. We have many reasons to have faith… even when we don’t understand. And you know… In all my years of running I never found anything more calming than a prayer lifted in moments of fear. A personal God writes a beautiful story with our mess of a life we just have to trust him.