Talk to me about the truth of religion and I’ll listen gladly. Talk to me about the duty of religion and I’ll listen submissively. But don’t come talking to me about the consolations of religion or I shall suspect that you don’t understand. C.S. Lewis
Many people have sent us encouragement letting us know they are praying for us. Others have given us scripture verses for encouragement. The goodwill from friends comfort me, the scriptures, less so. For every verse with a promise, there is a verse that narrates the suffering of God’s people. If you quote Psalms, I can point to David, annointed, but living for years in hiding while Saul pursued him. Delivered? Yes, eventually. But were the years of living in caves and eluding Saul easier for it? If you quote Jeremiah’s promise of “I know the plans I have for you …”, there is the backstory of Jeremiah being beaten, put in stocks, imprisoned, thrown into a well, threatened with death, etc. Then, when Babylon conquered the kingdom, Jeremiah was released and treated well …
Paul, beheaded. Peter, crucified upsidedown. And Job’s sufferings are known to the world.
I sound morbid, I know. But I wonder at it. If religious people really have it better than others, wouldn’t it be easier to peddle it? But there are no guarantees. The sun shines and the rain falls on the just and the unjust.
And here, when times are hard, I find myself questioning. Does God care? Does He see? Will He intervene? I am not so silly as to question His existence. That I leave to the supercilious ones. I’ve never been able to imagine a world that wasn’t God-breathed. But … He isn’t only the fatherly figure I’ve imagined either, benevolent and indulgent. There are sides of Him I am afraid to see. Better to not be too curious.
But can I trust Him?
What choice do I have?
I am unable to configure a life without Him. I’ve experienced too much heart-pounding moments and tears and talks and life with Him to doubt Him now.
I sort of feel like I’m halfway down a cliff, hanging from a rope, and someone shouts …
is the rope secure?
It’s a little late now. There’s nothing for it but to go on.
Or I feel that horrid feeling of being duped. Maybe I don’t know Him after all? Like imagining the shocking horror of seeing my husband kissing another woman.
But that is silly.
I can’t ever know Him. And I have no claims upon Him. I am a beggar.
He will do what He wishes. My job is to ask. And seek. So I’ll do my job and not worry anymore. For how can my worry change anything? I have no leverage. No real power.
It’s just me and the universe and the choices I make.
Somehow, it’s …
Perhaps I don’t understand.