I just got off the phone with someone very dear and near to my heart. Their question was, "How can I not be mad at God for letting this happen?" Did God cause the collapse of the construction and residential housing market? Did He cause almost everything that I have worked for the last 30 years to lose most of its value? Did He cause every income generating aspect of my business to suddenly dry up? Did He create a chasm between my closest friends and peers, who were "always" there for me until I could no longer shower them lots of work, dinners "on me," extravagant parties and expensive gifts for every occasion?
This question I am sure has played out all over this great land time after time. Crisis after crisis has been no respecter of any one person. Why should we not be mad at God? We've gone to church, tithed, helped the poor, fed the hungry and sheltered the homeless just as His word instructs us to do. Why then has this happened to us?
As Christians, are we given a free pass that makes us immune to calamities, disasters, floods and in light of today, financial distress? Where in the Bible does it say being a Christian would be carefree and easy? Early Christians were persecuted for their beliefs. They were stoned, strung up and imprisoned, because they chose to follow Christ and His teachings. I dare say that enduring this financial meltdown, be it however long it lasts, would be the lesser of two evils if we were allowed to choose between this and confinement or even worse, death.
Come to think of it, I did get mad at God once. And once was enough. It happened many years ago when He told me very clearly that someone who was dying would be healed. I immediately shared this revelation with her and yet, she continued to get worse. I yelled, I screamed and put God on notice that I would no longer pray for people and their healing. So there God, here's one less Spiritual gift I no longer can afford or need.
Then, within 90 days, an amazing thing happened, she was healed. Just as He promised me He would. However it was on His time not mine. Seems in order for her healing to occur, she had to return to a father she had not spoken to in 25 years and forgive him on his deathbed. She carried unrequited anger that had manifested itself into seething hate all these years. Once that stumbling block was removed, God in His infinite mercy, did just what He said He would do, He healed her. Today she is well, thriving and living life to its fullest extent.
I've yet to live that down. And truthfully this most undeserving spiritual gift has suffered because of it. It's not been lost, yet it's just not returned with the faithfulness and power it once had. Maybe it will, but only time will tell.
Now back to my current situation and the state I find myself in. Through this process, I have been humbled beyond measure. I have discovered what is really important in this journey called life. I have learned who in my inner circle truly cares what is happening to me. Their constant prayers sustain me, along with my belief that the sun will rise tomorrow. God's mercies are new every morning. His grace is sufficient to meet my needs just in time. Therein is our everlasting hope. Combined with faith, we believe in God's character, He is who He says He is and in His promises, He will do what He says He will do.
Am I mad at God, absolutely not? He has taken me to places where I had never been. He has neither left me nor forsaken me. He has not placed me in a position to be stoned, crucified or imprisoned. He has, however, taken me to a place where only His grace and protection will sustain me. I must depend totally and completely on Him to work through me, His wonders. As unworthy as I am with my constant bent to stumble, God forgives, forever hears and answers me.
Throughout my life, He has always come through. There has been no one, nor will there ever be anyone else, I can say that about. No matter how dark the day, God rescues and illuminates my path forward. However, it's never on my schedule but His. Timing is everything. No one could predict or fathom the depth and length of this financial uncertainty. But, this I know, no matter how long it lasts, no matter how deep we may sink, my God will sustain us. He will lift us and carry us through these trials and tribulations. We will emerge victorious; this is His promise, not mine.
But we must wait. Psalms 27:14 says we are to "Wait on the Lord -- All ye who are in distress, wait on the Lord." Clarke's commentary states: "You cannot be unsuccessful; fear not. Wait, I say, on the Lord; wait for His succor in doing His will. Age viriliter, says the Vulgate; Act like a man, hope, believe, work and fear not."
And lastly, no matter how hard it may seem, we must wait quietly and ever so patiently for Him to work according to His schedule. Waiting is tough, it's scary and it even makes us angry and frustrated when our answers don't come immediately. If we must complain, let us only complain to Him. Our complaints when shared with the world, casts a giant shadow on the depth and breath of our faith and in Him who is our strength, our hope, our salvation.
With each waking moment, we must believe the future of His glory will be unfolding right before our eyes. I may not see it just yet, but I can promise you He does. Romans 8:28 as paraphrased from my pastor's recent sermon states," In all things, God works, for the Good, of those who love Him."
At this point in my life, with all the financial struggles before me, I can be rest assured that I am exactly where God wants me to be; learning life humbling lessons He has chosen just for me in preparation for the next chapter my life. Stay tuned. Oh by the way, who is mad? Not me.