Friday, February 11, 2011


  Lately, emotional pain has been a topic of extreme relevance for me. This is both because I have been hurting, and because several people very close to me have been hurting beyond what we ever would have expected at this point in our lives. Life's random twists and turns have not been kind to 'my circle' as of late, and there have been many desperate attempts to assuage this pain. Some of these have been healthy and constructive, and some of them have been anything but. In addition to the pain that I've been feeling, I have not been very close to God lately. Since I was young, I have never turned away from God even in my pain, because I learned about His character, and I realized that He is good in all circumstances. However, I HAVE turned away from Him to pursue my own desires. I have kept my creator at arm's distance, afraid of what He might ask of me if I let Him any closer. And so in some of my darkest hours, when I needed Him the most, I haven't had Him to turn to because...well...I decided I wasn't going to.

  I've had a lot of time to think lately, and I've decided to break this cycle and open my heart and mind to God. I've come to realize that God knows me better than I know myself. He knows my desires. He knows what it is that I want that is keeping me from pursuing Him. He knows my heart in its entirety, and I truly believe that the desires I have are there for a reason, and that God wants me to be happy. Because God knows me, He knows exactly the best way for these desires to be satisfied. He is a god of love, and will not deny me my desires simply to be cruel, but rather channel them in a different direction than the one I would choose on my own. Reminding myself of this particular aspect of God's character helped me to open myself up to Him, and so today I sat down for the first time in a long time and prayed that God would use His word to speak to me. I then opened my Bible to a random section and came to Job 6. This is the verse that stood out to me the most:

"What strength do I have that I should continue to hope?
What is my future, that I should be patient?"

Job 6:11

  The reason this verse stood out to me is that this is such a comon feeling/question for a despairing person. I know that recently, while my pain has been so potent, I've asked almost this exact question many times. At this point, everything had been taken from Job: his livestock, his servants, his children, and even his own health. It is completely understandable that Job would have no hope of strength of his own. And yet, anyone who knows the story of Job knows how the story ends. God not only restores but doubles Job's previous wealth, and allows him to have more children. The Bible says that Job lived 140 more years after his suffering (which is so long compared to the length of time during which he suffered), and that God blessed the second half of Job's life even more than He had the first.
  Because I know the wonderful end to Job's story, it's so reassuring to read that Job asked these questions. It reminds me that like Job, I don't know the end to my own story, but God does; that He is a light in every situation, and that He rewards your faithfulness when life's hard circumstances don't turn you away from Him. I think the main thing I've taken away from Job's story is that God won't come right out and say, "Look, here's the deal. It's going to hurt now, but give it (insert amount of time here) and I'm going to double what you had before and make everything all better!" I think He doesn't do that because He wants us to have faith in Him...He wants to see that we'll love Him and continue to look for Him even when life hurts. Besides that, we don't need to know the end to our own story in order to have faith that God will come through for us. You can get a glimpse of God's character just by looking in His word and seeing how He has come through for people (Job being just one example) all through the years.

  One more thing that I want to share that I've learned lately is this: Keep praying when you feel like you're praying to a wall. Keep asking God to get to you. Keep talking even when you feel like you're talking to your imaginary friend. He is faithful. He WILL come through. Not feeling Him there when you talk to Him is normal, and I think it's another tets of faith. If God sees that you will keep praying and keep believing that He's there even when you are not emotionally stirred by Him, He will make himself known to you.

  Anyway. These are just a few of my thoughts as of late. Thank you for reading!

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