"The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way. "
I get so flabbergasted when someone asks me, "Why did God do this to me?" Why would anyone think that God intentionally targeted them to maim and make them miserable? All accounts in the Bible show no such personality of God. Yes, it is understood in the old testament that he punished those who refused to listen to him. But there is not one reading where God aims his mighty sword just to slay his children.
Sadly, we all experience pain in one way or another. And, we are constantly looking for a reason why such pain was inflicted. That is human nature, we are innately curious. We have this incessant need to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, as to why we were traumatized. Unfortunately, at times, this is impossible. In turn, we become more frustrated targeting God. After all, who else could harbor the power to cause such volatile situations?
Kathy, a past student, was touched with death early. She had married the man of her dreams from high school. They were childhood sweethearts, and she could not imagine her life with anyone else. She felt blessed physically and spiritually. She knew God was taking care of her every need, and she was in a constant state of affirmation.
Then one year later the inevitable happened. Her husband, Pat, a hard working engineer received a career bonus that was unexpected. He had been promoted to management in a large facility. Life was suddenly better than good, and the Franks moved to a larger house with all the amenities. Within months Pat was out at the bars with his colleagues solidifying new plans for the organization.
But, also in that short time, Pat found he had a predisposition to being an alcoholic. Happy hour was soon extended each night at home. Pat continued to work as a functioning alcoholic, but Kathy could see a huge phantom lurking in the distance. This bleakness scared her to the core, and she pleaded with Pat to get help.
Pat could not see a problem at hand that required counseling, but he promised to curb his drinking down the road before he allowed another person into their relationship to help. Within two months Pat was dead and Kathy was devastated. She mourned over and over, "This happened too fast! How could he have gotten alcohol poisoning so suddenly?"
Kathy later found out that he had a liver disorder, previous to alcoholism, that was found in the autopsy.
Living life is not always easy. Sometimes it is downright difficult. But, regardless of what's going on in your life, don't use that as an excuse to live in discouragement and despair. Understand that the tough times in life cause us to grow; that's when our faith is stretched. That's when God is doing a work in us. It may be uncomfortable. We may not like it, but if we can keep the right attitude, God has promised to use that difficulty for our good. He'll use it for our advantage.
Unbelievably, Kathy had faith even though every dream was just shattered. She knew God would turn her life around eventually and add more unexpected blessings. We are often told to have faith in adversity. Or, we are told, God sends us tests to ensure we keep our faith. I'm not certain about that, but I do believe that as adversity grows in my life so does my faith. And what can that faith be? For me, it is that defining goal of an intimate relationship with God. That wonderful feeling of his comfort that envelops me even in the most dire situations and keeps me afloat.
If you lose your joy every time something negative happens to you, then the enemy will continue to attack. He'll make sure you always have somebody in your life who irritates you, or some situation that going to keep you sour. Don't make that mistake.
Our Scripture today says, that "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord." If God is directing your steps, then you can be confident that he is aware of your circumstance. Choose to enjoy each day in spite of your circumstances. Grow in your faith and begin speaking more to God.
As for Kathy, she was right! Two years later she married a wonderful man, who she feels is her soulmate. They just had a son to add to their family. She told me, "Most people only are blessed with one true love. God has blessed me with two."
This Week's Meditation:
God, I may not understand this, but I know you have me here for a reason.
Meditate on this for several minutes a day. Allow various thoughts to come into your mind. If you are especially upset state:
I know you will work it for my good. It is stretching me, but I know I'm growing. I'm going to come out of this stronger, happier, healthier, and better off than I was previously.
Remind yourself of healing each moment. God has you in his arms always.