Monday, April 4, 2011

Two different Gods

It's early, but Caedmon has slept enough that it's after six and I feel the motivation to stay up and maybe do some things that I want to do. Like write, pray and exercise a little.

This is raw, I haven't thought it through 110%, also it's 6:30 am so I haven't proof read....

Here is what has been on my heart lately, and it's not easy, and you may want to fight with me. My heart is wrestling with God on this issue, and I want to strongly preface this post with these words: I am not angry with God, I am confused and a little jealous. This is my humanness coming through.

Some days, especially lately I feel like people have two different views of God, although I am sure there a millions more than just these two. There is the "ask and if you have enough faith it will be yours" version of God. This God is very sunny and good and seems to answer every prayer with the yes you were hoping for. No matter what happens, things seem to be sunny and bright with this God. And then there is the other view of God, my view, which is more like a "I am in control of everything but the world is fallen and people have choice and love wins in the end but it isn't the end yet" God. This God has a heart that breaks with yours when you are hurting. This God doesn't push with an answer for "why" when tragedy strikes. This God isn't as cut and dry. I guess what I am saying is that sometimes I feel surrounded by people who pray hard, get their way and always seem to have this radiating sun in their life, and I am jealous, and I struggle to relate.

If you read the book Prayer by Richard Foster he discusses the fact that our hearts and desires are flawed and so by the very nature, so often our prayers are mixed up in these sinful desires and flaws. But God loves us enough to see through that and he is happy to be in conversation and relationship with us. He sees us through Christ. So I understand that if I hit my knees and pray selfishly for a million dollars and a trip to Jamaica, God didn't answer that prayer not because I lacked faith but because my heart wasn't in the right place. But when I pray for healing for someone I love, or freedom from bondage, or something along those lines... then why does my life seem like an endless string of loss?

The thing is I believe God is good, that God is love for us, that he is faithful. I believe this just as strongly as those with the sunny days view of God. But what makes me hurt is when the issue of faith comes in. Jesus often says that those he healed were healed because of their faith. I don't know what to do with this, were my people not healed because of my or their lack of faith? And when people quote these scriptures and say "Yes Lord, by our faith we are healed" then what do those of us who had faith and didn't receive healing supposed to feel? I think at these moments I feel like the Inadequate black sheep in the congregation, wondering what I did wrong.

My church received a message last week from Steve Furtick, about how if you pray with enough faith and ask God for big and bold huge things, he will make the Sun Stand still to show off his power like he did with Joshua. And I found myself feeling angry and dark during this message. I prayed often and hard and my Sun didn't stand still, I still lost to car accidents, depression, heart disease and suicide. He went on and on about Jesus bringing a little girl back from the dead because his father had deep faith. Well my dead people seem to be staying dead. I am alive, and I am in love with my God, but my God doesn't raise my dead or take away the diseases of those I love, they died and they seem to be very much staying that way. So what do I do with this message?

During these dark times I prayed for strength and I prayed for daily bread and I made it through, giving God the glory for the mere fact that I am still here. This is what I have asked for lately, for health, and strength, and the ability to see the good in the midst of the dark, like fireflies and stars in a dark night sky. And God has held me, and he has shown my his love in these ways.

So often I don't post lately because I just don't want to offend people, if you have the Sunny view of God, mostly my heart is glad for you, jealous but glad. Sometimes I just wish I got to speak that language, I wish we could meet in the middle. I wish I didn't feel so dark when all the sunshine comes out to play.


Sheridan said...

Thanks so much for sharing this. Unfortunately your sunny God friends are sharing those faith passages completely out of context. The whole purpose of the miracles of Jesus was to validate his MESSAGE(love God above all other things Mark 12:30).

Mark 2 is a perfect example. We all know the story of the paralytic and often it's presented as the faith of the paralytic or even the men carrying him that healed him. While those are things we can certainly be encouraged by the whole point is that Jesus tells the man his sins are forgiven. When he is criticized by the Pharisees (for only God could forgive sins) Jesus validates his message of forgiveness by healing the man (something else only God could do). What the man needed wasn't healing--it was forgiveness.

Lazarus (John 11) didn't need to be brought back to life; he only died again some years later. What the people needed was to see that Christ was the Messiah and BELIEVE (mentioned 5 times in the passage) in him, and healing Lazarus (after intentionally letting him die) was a way to get their attention.

We are told in the New Testament that Christ suffered and we are to rejoice in suffering because we can have fellowship in his sufferings (Phil 3). In fact, it says that we are to expect it (Phil 1:29)!

If this world were full of faith healings we would have no deep longings for our citizenship in heaven; we'd be quite content to stay here. Your friends mean well, but as they love God they will find their faith being put to the "fire" with the aim being "praise, glory, and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ". (1 Peter 1:7)

Sheridan said...

Also, sorry for the long explanation. We just hear about the same thing often in this area too. I wanted you to know biblically why your suspicions were true and be able to guard your heart in Jesus Christ! said...

"I prayed often and hard and my Sun didn't stand still, I still lost to car accidents, depression, heart disease and suicide."

I hear you! This is a beautiful post...I'm sorry that you are battling such things. These very things have been the hauntings of my life too.

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