Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Disappointment with God

About a month ago I finished reading a book by Philip Yancey called "Disappointment with God". I was feeling pretty depressed and sort of angry at God when I read this book. In the book Yancey poses three questions about God. Is God unfair, Is He silent, and is He hidden. To try and answer these questions Yancey talked about Job for a good portion of the book. Here was a man who was one of Gods favorites and yet he was put under intense trials and suffering not for anything he did wrong but because God wanted to prove to Satan that Job would love him even in pain. Here is one passage of Yancey's book that really hit home for me:

For Job, the battleground of faith involved lost possessions, lost family members, lost health. We may face different struggle: a career failure, a floundering marriage, sexual orientation, a body shape that turns people off, not on. At such times the outer circumstances-the illness, the bank account, the run of bad luck-will seem the real struggle. We may beg God to change those circumstances. If only I were beautiful or handsome, then everything would work out. If only I had more money-or at least a job-then I could easily believe God.

But the more important battle, as shown in Job, takes place inside us. Will we trust God? Job teaches that at the moment when faith is hardest and least likely, then faith is most needed. His struggle presents a glimpse of what the Bible elsewhere spells out in detail: the remarkable truth that our choices matter, not just to us and our own destiny but, amazingly, to God himself and the universe he rules.

Yancey goes on to say:

All the reasons for disappointment with God that I have mentioned in this book, as well as all cancers, all deaths, all broken relationships, all the collected groanings of our savage planet-all these imperfections will be wiped away. We may at times question God's wisdom and lose patience with his timetable. But all the prophets' lavish promises will someday come true, and we, you and I, are the ones selected to help bring this about.

Why the delay? Why does God let evil and pain so flagrantly exist, even thrive on this planet? Why does he let us do slowly and blunderingly what he could do in an eye blink?

He holds back for our sakes. Re-creation involves us: we are, in fact, at the center of his plan. The Wager, the motive behind all human history, is to develop us not God.

This really blew me away. Some of it is stuff I knew already but for some reason I understood it better this time. I sometimes question (ok often question) why God does not just heal me of these homosexual feelings instantly. But it could be God is more interested in seeing how I show my faith and obedience to Him despite these feelings than He is in providing me with a quick fix. If I did not have this thorn in my side maybe I would never realize how weak I am and how in need I am of Jesus's sacrifice, love, and forgiveness. After all God has given me so much why do I always focus on the negatives? He gave me life, a place to live, food to eat, and his very Son died for me.

So I choose to trust God and continue on this path of resisting my same sex attractions with Jesus's help and love. Its not easy and I am sure I will mess up many times. Its alot harder then giving in but no one ever said this walk would be easy. But God has shown me how much He loves me time and time again and I know He will be by my side as I struggle with this and pick me up from the dust when I fail.

Anyways if you are feeling Disappointed with God or even with yourself I highly recommend this book. It has been a great help for me and I find myself going back to it often.

1 comment:

  1. AJ,

    Thank you greatly for sharing this with us. I woke up today in a strange head and heart space and the words you placed here are like good news from a far country.

    I am struggling to find my position in this world at the moment and also my path in this journey of grace that God, for some reason, has called me to.

    All to often I am like Peter, stepping out in faith and then fixating on the wind, waves and storms about me. When the sinking begins I need to call out to Him who bid me come out, NOT on how well I can swim in these waters that pull me down.

    This was a shot of faith in the arm this morning that I desperately needed. Thanks again for sharing. I will ponder on this today as I walk about in the sun.

    Peace to you,