I felt really angry. The fact is, I usually don’t “feel” angry at God, but I was. He let me down.
It started with those Christmas letters. You know, the ones from your friends that recap all the wonderful things that happened in the past year. And this was a great year for some of my friends. They travelled all over kingdom come. They stayed madly in love. Their children accomplished amazing feats. Everyone was thankful to God for all their good gifts, etc., etc., etc.
Was I happy for them? Not on your life. I was madly jealous. And mad at God.
Why? Let’s start with the fact that my husband has been out of work for three years and I have had to bear the load of “primary bread-winner,” while at the same time, maintaining the roles of mom and general housekeeper (though that last job is going to the dogs, literally). I work two shifts, for sure. And we ain’t rich. To buy a car recently, we had to go into savings. To pay our tithe, we have to go into savings. I am an alien living in a strange culture. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Yes, yes. I know it’s all for my good. God has my best interests in mind. He is refining me. He is drawing me to Himself. Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
But, sometimes, I would just like to have the easy life.
I even had to think of a friend who is worse off than me in order to feel better. Sad, isn’t it?
I talked about this with a friend. We decided that the question isn’t “Why do others get the good life when I don’t?” But, “Why aren’t they suffering, too?” Maybe better: “When and in what form will their suffering come?”
The fact is, I have to remember to camp out on this verse
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? Romans 8:31 (NKJV)
If you check out the rest of Romans 8, you’ll see that “all things” includes a lot of suffering. And note also that “all things” — both the easy life things and the tough life things — are gifts from God, gifts borne by the same love that delivered Christ to the cross.
So, He’s giving me this tough life out of love. Gee, thanks, God.
Oh, then comes that searing conviction.
It’s not all about me. Hm. It’s about Him: His glory, His will, His plan. He has the right to do with me what He wants. I pray “Thy kingdom come,” and He says, “Yes. And my kingdom will come by causing you to suffer right now. It is part of my plan to achieve my ends by refining you and causing you to fall more deeply in love with me.”
“Oh, and don’t forget, I love you. The cross is the proof.”
Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.