I’m not sure I know exactly how to put my thoughts into words tonight, but I’ve been thinking. And I’ve got more questions than answers as a result. So, for all three of you that may actually still read this site, bear with me as I pour out my brain and heart here through this poor medium of blogging. This may be tough to follow. But I guess that’s alright.
If you’re a close friend of mine, you’ll know that the last four months have been rough for us. We’ve been dealing with some family troubles centered around the dreaded c-word: cancer. I won’t go into detail more than to say it’s a close family member out of respect for that person’s privacy, but suffice it to say that the news we received was not good. Not just any kind of c-word… terminal c-word.
We’ve been riding a roller-coaster of emotions. We’ve travelled more in the past four months than we perhaps even over the past four years (or maybe it just seems that way). Nancy and I have had to go separate ways far too often, and split the family more weekends than not to try to keep juggling all of the various balls we find ourselves tasked with keeping airborne. Our church attendance has been a joke. Stress levels way too high. And our faith… challenged.
Throughout this same general time period, there have been some horrific news stories. Sandy Hook. The Boston bombings. West, Texas. Tragedies, all.
And there has been societal change, political turmoil.
I’ve watched “the church” respond to all of this in interesting ways. Anger. Outrage. Political maneuvering. Calls for organization. Calls for prayer. Calls for activism. Prayer.
Rarely with peace.
I don’t know that the two are related in any way, to be honest. But there is a common theme running through my head… a difficult thought.
In times of troubles, Christians are faced with tough questions.
Where is God during _______?
Why didn’t He do something?
Why would He allow _______?
Is God hearing my prayers?
Why isn’t He listening?
Are you even real?
Do you even care?
These questions have become very real to me through our times of trouble. I’ve read of Job in the Old Testament, and how God allowed his faith to be tested… how He gave Job over to Satan to do anything except take his life. I’ve wondered if God does the same nowadays… “Have you considered my servant _______?”
Has my name, Nancy’s, or others we love deeply been in that place?
When trouble seems rampant, and God seems distant? As if He’s not listening?
Why? Did we do something? Do we deserve this somehow?
I think Christians as a whole react the same way during times of trouble; even societal troubles.
We wonder if God cares. “Can’t you see what’s happening God?” “When will you do something?”
We look at ourselves, collectively. Where have we failed? What didn’t we do to prevent this? What if we only _______? Would God listen then? Could we change things?
I know this is disjointed. The point I’m trying to get to is that I see a parallel. What I see in our lives during our time of trial is not that terribly different from what I see in “the church” when everything seems to be going wrong with the world.
A test of faith. A lack of peace. Perhaps, a lack of trust.
Maybe it’s best summarized by questions (after all, that’s mostly what I seem to have right now).
Is Jesus really enough?
What if turning to Jesus for answers is the only answer?
What if letting our questions go is His only response… just to trust Him?
Will we really be satisfied with Jesus alone?
Or must we have Jesus + _______?
Sure, we all know the good “Christian” answer. But do we truly believe what we profess? What we sing about on Sundays? What we tell others? What we preach to our kids? What we read in our Christian books, or hear about on our Christian radio stations?
Is Jesus REALLY enough?
Perhaps that’s the question God has been trying to get us to consider all along.
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