Wednesday, April 7, 2010

When God Hurts Your Feelings

This past week, there were two relatively big things that I specifically prayed wouldn't happen, and then they happened. And of course there's the over-arching disappointment of living in pain after two surgeries I fervently prayed would solve the problem. I'm telling you. It's easy to start taking it personally. To feel like God has purposely broken my heart. I know that's a terrible, terrible way to think, but I'd be lying if I said I never struggled with this kind of disillusionment.
I follow author Lysa TerKeurst 's blog, and the title of her post JUMPED out at me. Because it's where I'm at this week. I was really encouraged by her words because I know it's truth. Not the lies I tend to believe way too much.

When God Hurts Your Feelings
Asking why is perfectly normal. Asking why isn’t unspiritual. However, if asking this question pushes us farther from God rather than drawing us closer to Him, it is the wrong question. Too often, we tend to question God:
• Why did this happen?
• Why didn’t You stop this, God?
• Why weren’t my prayers answered?
• Why am I alone?
• Why did this happen today of all days?!

In most situations, nothing positive can come from whatever answer there might be to a why
question. Even if God gave us His reason why, we would judge Him. And His reasons, from our limited perspective, would always fall short. That’s because our flat human perceptions simply can’t process God’s multidimensional, eternal reason.

Isaiah 55:8-9: “‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’” declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thought than your thoughts.’”

If asking the why question doesn’t offer hope, what will?
The what question.
In other words: Now that this is my reality, what am I supposed to do with it?
So, when God hurts your feelings, don’t ask why … ask what?
For example, ask God the following questions:

• What do You want me to do with what has happened?
• What can I learn from this?
• What part of this is for my protection?
• What other opportunities could God be providing?
• What maturity could God be building into me?
-Lysa Terkeurst

1 comment:

  1. Kristen, this is Andrew, not Katie. Having said that please allow me to comment on your post. I feel comfortable saying that most Christians have at some point said "not my will but yours, God." What if God's will is the destroying of our bodies, our lives, or our wants so that in our suffering He would be glorified? How hard is it to accept that our merciful God would use those situations to Glorify Himself? For me it is sometimes a dreadful thought to think that God's will for us may be pain, sickness, disease, or even death. But the fact remains that He does use those situations.

    I can't imagine what it must be like for you to feel the pain, discomfort, and unpleasantness that is so very often caused by your condition. But the fact remains that God is using those conditions in the world, and in your life, to glorify Himself. What you may not be able to realize is that your smile, despite all the pain and suffering you have endured, is a reflection of the light that Christ speaks of; that by your getting up everyday and taking care of your family, you have shown people how to gracefully serve God with patient endurance. The world's eyes are on you. True, it is not the whole world that watches but it is certainly more people than you realize. You may not have the ministry of a Ruth Graham, a Mother Theresa, or a Lysa TerKeurst but you have the ministry of a Kristen Maddux! And it is yours alone. God has set it aside especially for you because you are the one He chose to serve Himself in that ministry. There is no other person who will ever have the opportunity (or God given ability) to serve God and touch certain lives in the unique way He has chosen for you! May the peace of God sustain you in every moment of your life.

    Your brother in Christ,

    Andrew (the other one)