I wanted to share another excerpt from Angie Smith’s book, “I Will Carry You.” I finished reading this book a couple weeks ago, but I had bookmarked a couple passages to share with you all. I still have a couple more to do in future posts…so stay tuned.
This excerpt talks about how she felt like God failed her. While you’re reading, keep in mind that a lot of her symbolism is from the story of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (she had discussed this earlier in the chapter).
“So what are we to do when we feel the Lord has failed us? We have done every bit of what we felt we could. We trusted Him. We called on Him. We awaited His appearance and even fought doubt as the days passed because above all else, He is good…right?
Then He arrived and there was hope. Maybe we even got caught up in the fact that our hands were on the rock that God was going to use to show us His glory. I was there and I believed.
And she remained in the tomb.
I would have stood there forever, longing for Him to rescue me from this reality because feeling so let down was horrible. I know this is a touchy subject for Christians because we are called to trust Him despite what we are experiencing, but if you have been there, you understand.
I want you to imagine the place where you feel the most abandoned by God. Maybe you suffered at the hands of an abuser, or you have painful childhood memories. You may be dealing with a strained relationship or a career misstep. Where is the wound that has ripped into your faith in Jesus?
As hard as this is, I want you to hold that image in your mind and picture the solution, whatever it may be, just on the other side of a stone [as in the stone in front of the tomb]. Reconciliaton? Recovery? Belief where you have none? Redemption where there is only brokenness?
You have waited and waited for this moment and now you are leaning with full weight and eager expectation as the crowd looks on. Now I want you to answer this question honestly.
What do you believe your God can do?
If you had asked me that question right after I lost Audrey, I would have stumbled over my answer. His power is never too small for everyone else, it seems; but when it’s me, it feels intangible and unlikely. Even Martha hesitated to be part of what He was doing because she didn’t really understand what was about to happen. She might have even been humiliated if it failed as the crowd waited to see what her great Savior was going to do.
I can relate. Sometimes in this world we make fools of ourselves by believing that He is who He says He is.
I felt that. I remember sitting near Audrey’s grave, weeds tangling through her grave marker, feeling like I had been made a fool of for trying to move that stupid stone. If I had just accepted that science was science, I wouldn’t have let myself believe the way I did. Maybe I wouldn’t have felt so hurt and abandoned.
I’m sure that you can think of areas in life where you feel let down by God, even things that have pushed you away from relationship with Him. I won’t say I don’t understand the questioning because quite frankly it makes allt he human sense in the world. What kind of God watches a mother hold her dying baby?
Would you allow me to enter into your heart a bit here?…Instead of spending your days focusing on your sense of hurt or loss, allow the Lord to bless you with the grace to believe that what lies ahead will glorify Him. It is the closest thing to true worship that we have in this life, and so often we miss it. I miss it.
It’s time to press our full weight into the stone, having complete faith that whether or not there is life in the tomb, there is breath in our lungs to tell of the great Savior who loves us more than we can know.”
There have occasionally been times when I slightly felt like God has failed me…or more accurately, not answered my prayers that way that I had hoped. The big one that comes to mind right now has been my problem with anxiety. I have asked over and over again (mainly when its really bad), for Him to miraculously heal me from this problem. But instead, he has slowly helped me through it. So many times we want to escape all the pain and hardship in our lives. But instead, I think He wants to be there to go through it with us. Without going through these learning experiences we don’t develop the character we need, the character that glorifies Him. Regardless, I still find myself trying to escape disappointing times. But I know that God will work on my life and heart, even when I least expect it.