Why do people suffer? I don’t know. In faith we can’t be afraid of our doubts, of our questioning, and I know I’m afraid of mine. I once read – That only happened once. But it doesn’t feel like a good enough answer. Why do people suffer? Because God desires saints. I don’t have a better answer than that – than this.
When God called Joshua, he told him, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." (1:9)
When Joshua’s people trembled in the face of countless foes, and armies that swarmed around them, when they marched senselessly around a city as if their stomps could crash the walls, Joshua repeated these same words to the people. What he was given by the Lord, he passed on.
Today was not a good day for me, either. I did not feel successful. I felt a little defeated and left work hopeful only that I had Cocoa Krispies waiting for me. As a person of faith, though, I have to live differently than Pinterest and TV tell me is normal. Yes there is a way of comfort, but there is also a way of discipline. I can’t be crabby at the stop sign or turn to food to make it better. I can’t rely on other people to make me feel better or fill a hole like Anna in He’s Just Not That Into You. We can’t use other people for pleasure just because the world uses us for its displeasure. That not passing on the faith.
That’s only passing the doubt.
So I wait. These are the days I know why God gave us mothers. That every girl deserves a sister, and I’m lucky enough to have 2, and 3 nieces that made my dream come true of being a big sister.
This is a narrative I wrote a long time ago about Truth. It fell into my lap tonight as I was looking for what to write about after another human Tuesday, looking for God’s beauty and listening for his voice. I hope it speaks into the cloud you’re under, too, and if you still feel gross just dig for a handful of crayons and a bit of scratch paper and color yourself a rainbow. That seems to make me and my nieces feel better, and I think you’ll find it reminds you of the covenant He made with you, too
I didn’t know the difference between Truth and Lies.
My whole life, I’d sort of been lied to… so I didn’t really ever learn the way of knowing when someone is being sincere, and when they’re not.
This whole thing is probably a sham.
I’ll go through the motions and everything but… I’m not going to give it my whole heart.
Just like everything I do.
I’ll say I believe in this God, or whatever.
But who even really knows.
If there really is a God… why do people suffer?
What about all these tsunamis and hurricanes?
Earthquakes and famine?
And if someone wants to tell me that God exists…
Would you please tell me why everything has to die?
Everything I want.
Everything I ever hoped for.
Always gets taken away.
So would you please tell me why everything I want ceases to exist,
if God does?
Didn’t anyone ever notice that the only one not dying is God?
Actually, God did die.
God. He did die.
But God can’t die. He’s… God.
Isn’t there a law of physics or something that proves that God can’t die?
God is above physics. Above all forms of science. He’s even, believe it or not, above your imagination.
I could’ve told you that. There are still so many things I can’t figure out.
Did you ever think that maybe it’s just supposed to be a mystery?
That truth isn’t always synonymous with proven fact?
If you expect me to believe something, suffer for something, I’d like for it to be a proven fact, thank you very much.
That’s the thing with faith, though. It isn’t something that can be proven.
Sometimes, it can’t even be felt.
And the worst is when it cannot be conceived.
It’s something that has to be lived. Believed.
Blessed are you that have not seen, and believed.
The blind and the lame approached him in the temple area, and he cured them.
He cured them.
He cured him.
He cured her.
He cured us.
And he could see.
They could hear.
And she could walk.
And we rose.
‘Do you want to be well?’
“When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they began to be afraid.”
“When he said this, he spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva, and smeared the clay on his eyes, and said to him, ‘Go wash in the Pool of Siloam’ which means Sent. So he went and washed, and came back able to see."
"The boy’s father cried out, ‘I do believe, help my unbelief!’
"Jesus, on seeing a crowd rapidly gathering, rebuked the unclean spirit and said to it, ‘Mute and deaf spirit, I command you
Come out of him and never enter him again.’
“When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.
The man had been dwelling among the tombs, in fact, he had frequently been bound with shackles an chains. Jesus asked him,
‘What is your name?’
and Jesus let the legion of demons within him enter the swine feeding there on the hillside.
“He put his finger into the man’s ears and, spitting, touched his tongue,
then he looked up to heaven and groaned, “Ephphatha!” (that is, “Be opened!”)
And the man’s ears were opened.
He took the child by the hand and said to her,
Which means, “little girl, I say to you, arise!”
The girl, a child of twelve, arose immediately and walked around.
“Jesus came to the tomb.
It was a cave and a stone lay across it.
Jesus said, ‘Take away the stone.’
And Jesus raised his eyes and he cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lazarus, come out!’
"The dead man came out, ties hand and foot with burials bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, ‘Untie him and let him go.’ "
“Do you want to be well?”
“What is your name?”
“Lazarus, come out.”
“Come out of him and never enter him again.”
“Little girl, arise.”
“Rise and walk.”
Why are you weeping?
“And he asked them, ‘Are your hearts hardened? Do you have eyes and not see, ears and not hear? And do you remember when I broke the five loaves for the five thousand, how many wicker baskets full of fragments you picked up?’ They answered him, ‘Twelve.’ “ ‘When I broke the seven loaves for the four thousand, how many full baskets of fragments did you pick up?’ They answered him, “Seven.”
“And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, “Who is this?”
So what you’re saying is… God died?
Not forever. Just for a day.
It’s not like he was gone. He only died.
God was… dead?
“He descended into hell on the third day, he rose again.”
In fulfillment of the Scriptures.
Just for a day. Holy Saturday. And then he rose.
Because he’s God.
But couldn’t… couldn’t Jesus, who performed all of those miracles… avoid death?
So God died.
But he wasn’t gone.
He was just beyond the veil.
I don’t know. I just have all of these questions. I have all of this… doubt.
If Jesus could cure a blind man
Raise a dead girl
Bring Lazarus back to life
Don’t you think he can help change your heart?
I don’t want to be changed. I want answers.
I don’t want to understand. I want to be right.
I don’t want to listen. I want you to agree.
Then you will never be cured.
And you will never be free.
In order to understand someone, you have to know them first.
It is time to stop asking questions without a heart open for the answers.
A mind willing to hear what is difficult
And not what is easy
Doubt is not an illness
Doubt is not a disease
It is a condition
What they call – the original condition…
To automatically distrust God
And be suspicious of your maker.
It's not your fault
But it must be fought.
If you bring your doubt
With everything else
He’ll fix it?
He has a cure?
Doubt isn’t what is wrong with you.
Doubt is just one more way God draws us to himself.
The way in which he answers
The curiosity which calls us
And you will Find Him.
If you bring your heart to God, as questioning, and inquisitive,
Calloused, and condemning,
Hardened, and harassed,
If your bring your heart to God, he will take it.
He will take it. He would love to take it.
And make it his own.
He may not give you the answers.
But he will give you himself.
He will give you… whatever you want to know.
He will be with you.
And you will know him.
And beyond your wildest dreams, he will fulfill you…
He will heal you.
He will change you.
Do you want to be well?
Then, little girl, arise.
I say to you, be healed.
Awake O sleeper, rise from death
And Christ will give you life.
“He overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves."
Woe to you
Woe to you
Woe to you
For the Kingdom of God is at hand.
Woe to you
Woe to you
Woe. To. You.
Who put all of these things
The cares of your world
Things that will pass away
Before your beautiful, eternal soul
But to you who will follow me.
To you who will listen to my voice?
To you who will let me in?
I come to heal you.
I come to strengthen you.
I am come that you would have life
And have it to the full.
“Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.
Are not two sparrows sold for a coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father’s knowledge. Even all the hairs of your head are counted. So do not be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
O Jerusalem, Jerusalem
If only you would know the truth.
The truth of how much I love you.