Thursday, July 15, 2010

Desperate Faith and Hope

Right now I am in a season in which faith and hope have lost some of their "umph." I keep asking God why He made faith so hard. I mean, a person who is honestly seeking Him -- couldn't He just give that person a little peek?

I know what Paul said in Romans 1 about "what may be known about God is plain . . . clearly seen." So am I just lumped in with the godless and wicked he mentions there because I am struggling to see what is supposed to be so plain and clear? The creation of the universe: Yes, that is plain and clear. The deafening silence of the last 5 months is not.

And while I have so often claimed from the pulpit that hope is "confident assurance," right now my hope is neither confident or assured. It is a desperate clawing to just find a fingerhold. So I completely understand the anguish of David in Psalm 13, when he wrote, "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? . . . Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes . . ."

And so I once again come back to the words of Peter to Jesus, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."


6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd rather operate from God's unknown mystery than my assumed understanding.

This was a quote from Terry Rush on his blog today. I thought of it when I read your blog. Love ya Brother, Joe Hyde

randy said...

Sometimes it seems like God answers on his own schedule rather than Randy's schedule. Imagine that - I suppose He thinks He is God and I'm not. I was reminded today that sometimes his answer comes "just in time" and perhaps I need to be patiently hoping for the larger answers I desire.

mom2mlb said...

Rick, You do not know me. I started reading your blog when I learned about Jenny from some friends of mine. I want you to know that although I can not begin to understand what it is like to lose a child, I understand about questioning your faith. I have had cancer for 8 years now. I was first diagnosed in 2002 when I was 32 years old. I believe that I was a very strong and faithful Christian. I went to church every Sunday and worked in the children's program even while I was undergoing chemotherapy. I never questioned God during my first diagnosis. My faith was slightly tested with the 2nd diagnosis in 2007. But I still went to church and looked to Him to guide me. But the 3rd diagnosis in 2008 shook me to my very soul. I began to ask why he would allow this to continue. I have completely lost my faith now that I have had a 4th diagnosis in 2009 and yet a 5th diagnosis in 2010. The last 2 were the cancer spreading from my breasts to my lungs and brain (the last diagnosis). I am only 40 years old and I am facing life and death every single day of my life and I have a 5 year old daughter that does not understand why mommy is so tired all the time. I will be on chemo for the rest of my life and I just do not understand why god (if he exists) would allow me and my family to hurt so terribly badly. I tried so hard to hold on to my faith, but it has been cut, poisoned, and radiated out of me over the past 8 years. I so understand crying out like David. I have done it thousands of time over the past years. I too have heard nothing but silence. I too don't see anything clearly. So, I guess I am condemned to hell as well.

I don't know exactly why I am posting this, but I guess I just wanted you to know that there are some people in the world that understand somewhat the questioning of god and why he is so silent when you feel you have prayed your heart out.

Kristen, The Pajama Mama said...

I've been in that season for a while now, too. I'm sorry for that silence and can relate at somewhat of a distance, and somewhat very closely. (how's that for vague?:) )

Although I wouldn't say I've had a fresh explosion of faith, I am getting closer to feeling that "umph" again. I've been going through Beth Moore's Believing God study for the second time. It doesn't answer the why's that have led me to doubt, but it has encouraged me to pursue a growing faith.

I hope that for you, too, Rick. My heart still hurts very much from the loss of Jenny.

Thanks for your candor, by the way. It is very refreshing, and encouraging in it's honesty.

Rick Ross said...

mom2mlb,

I can't pretend to relate to your struggle. But I would encourage you not to give up on God. While I am struggling, I refuse to allow Satan to pull me away from my ONLY hope. He has inflicted enough damage on me already.

As my precious wife reminded me last night, maybe I am only perceiving that God is silent. After all, I have never had a greater outpouring of love and encouragement from friends as I have during this difficult time. And when I take the time to sit in silence before Him, I come away with greater peace.

Please feel free to email me at rross4@msn.com if you need someone to share in your journey.

Also, thanks to all who have responded to this post. Your words encourage me.

Jeff said...

I cannot understand why your loss happened any more than I can understand my situation but I do know that I see you seeking God and that your faith, while shaken, is evident in your desire to understand what God is doing in your life. Your words to me in my darkest days show your faith even while you don't understand why life goes the way it does. As you have said before, God doesn't promise us health and wealth even though in our own situations we might not want to deal with the problems we must face.

I share your appreciation of David's words. I want to see what God sees but I am faced with the reality it might not happen during my lifetime. So I continue to struggle, to fail God at times but also seeing God working through people around me, including you.

I love your brother.