Faith in the storm
"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart.
The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised." Job 1:21 (NIV)
This morning I sat in the unusual warmth, for a winters day, with a friend. We sat with kids clambering in the trees around us, faces beautifully radiant. Children have a wonderful way of finding joy in the moment.
I sat, feeling the weight of unanswered pray and the pain of suffering in the world. And yet my friend, who is watching the suffering of his own dear daughter, radiated faith in the most life giving way. He was leaning into suffering and the existence that God was giving him and his family, and still finding strength to love God through it all. What kind of faith is this?
I throw my fists at God and get angry and bitter when things don't follow my expectations but then I remember, I am owed nothing. Like it's written in the book of Job, "naked I came from my mother's womb and naked I will depart." I'm not owed a happy, healthy, prosperous life, although that is what I expect. I seem to have a life goal of happiness more than character, and yet I know that God is after character. Sometimes the formation of character hurts. It hurts in me and I know that it hurts in you.
I watched my friend this morning and remembered the recent tears, and yet saw a man leaning into God, not turning away in anger or hurt over broken expectations, but clinging to the One who loves Him. Isaiah 42:3 says, "A bruised reed he will not break.." Yes, we may be bruised but He has promised that He will never break us.
So today my friend inspired me to stop forcing my way in life, but instead to lean into the grace and goodness of the One who never ever breaks us. I chose today to stop asking the questions of "why?" but instead choose to believe that He walks with me through it all.