I am controlling, argumentative, moody, and feisty. I’m confident that the descriptor ‘bitch’ has been attached to my name countless times throughout my life. I absolutely will fight forever to avoid the crap of life until I am exhausted and realize that fighting is sometimes a total pain in the ass and I’ve lost the battle. That, my friends, is what surrendering looks like in my life. It’s pitiful and I am disgusted with myself. I’ve played this out so many times that my life reminds me of that idiot movie Groundhog Day.
I find myself barely existing in a life that is slowly but drastically changing. Losing my energy and things I’ve worked so hard for pisses me off. Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately, I’ve never lacked for a set of balls when it comes to voicing my concerns, worries, and complaints to God, especially when I feel like He is absent from my life. Too, I’ve never failed to be humbled by his answers to my seeking. As I pour over the pages of Scripture, I know the answers to my questions are all there. All I can do is soften my surrender from being one full of anger and giving up, to trusting God to quiet and calm my soul.
Why do you complain to him that he answers none of man’s words? For God does speak–now one way, now another– though man may not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls on men as they slumber in their beds, he may speak in their ears and terrify them with warnings, to turn man from wrongdoing and keep him from pride, to preserve his soul from the pit, his life from perishing by the sword. Or a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones, so that his very being finds food repulsive and his soul loathes the choicest meal. His flesh wastes away to nothing, and his bones, once hidden, now stick out. His soul draws near to the pit, and his life to the messengers of death. Yet if there is an angel on his side as a mediator, one out of a thousand, to tell a man what is right for him, to be gracious to him and say, ‘Spare him from going down to the pit; I have found a ransom for him’– then his flesh is renewed like a child’s; it is restored as in the days of his youth. He prays to God and finds favor with him, he sees God’s face and shouts for joy; he is restored by God to his righteous state. Then he comes to men and says, ‘I sinned, and perverted what was right, but I did not get what I deserved. He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.’
God saves me from myself. He ransoms me from the pit. Sometimes my suffering preserves my soul. I may not enjoy the method of moving me towards refinement, but if my goal is to know God more, His response makes sense and I am assured I am being driven towards a joy I cannot comprehend…a joy that I can’t see and that I often don’t treasure. It’s amazing how long you can spend with God and His Word and still not get it.
However, if my goal in questioning God is to get MY life back, to have things, to prosper in a worldly sense, to have a perfect marriage, to have children without affliction, to have my life without suffering, I miss the wisdom of God. I miss an eternal reality I can only dream about.
The beauty in the mess of suffering is I get to choose. Keep living and relying on sheer self will, pride, anger, and selfishness? Or accept God’s intervention on behalf of my future in eternity? I can’t see the whole picture, but I sure as hell can feel the despair and desperation overtaking my life based on my desire to regain the impossible and the slow edging in my heart towards the abyss of giving up.
There is purpose in battles.
He WILL ransom me from the pit.
“Though He slay me, I will hope in Him, yet I will argue my ways to His face.” Job 13:15
God’s response to Job takes my breath away. Job questions God. God questions him over 70 times in response. It is a powerful reminder to me that God is merciful and patient and all-knowing. I know nothing except what has been shown to me by His grace and the gift of faith in Him and His Word. All else is trash.