Yes, I have endured heartache and loss in life. I cannot name anyone who has not.
Is this not one of the earliest questions we ask of God?
“Why? Why do you, who is said to love us immeasurably, allow us to suffer so?”
Our faith wavers with the very thought.
They say that there is a reason for everything and that He never gives us more than we can bear.
I am constantly incredulous at the amount of faith He puts in my ability to cope.
Is this a test? Is He asking me to prove my worth, prove my faith, prove my goodness? And what if I should fall short of His expectations? Will He still forgive me? How often can you say, “I’m sorry, I’ll do better” and expect forgiveness?
Is He punishing me? I have often thought the sentence a bit harsh for my sins, yet other times I feel as though He has let me off easy and the weight of my own guilt proves nearly as severe as any punishment He could have dealt.
Is this a lesson? Why do I insist on learning things the hard way? Why do I have to be so obstinate and unyielding that I drive Him to beat me over the head with it?
Now, during another particularly trying time in my life, I am asking myself these questions all over again.
A very dear friend of mine, who knows me all too well, suggested that this time, maybe God is trying to teach me one of the most difficult lessons for me to learn…that I am not in control.
Funny thing is, I actually thought I had that one mastered.
Yet I found myself taking the long way home, windows down, music loud, just driving, in control.
Now that I think about it, now that I look back at some of the decisions I’ve made, remembering all the times I’ve questioned whether the ignorant hands of humans could foil fate, I realize my friend makes a very valid point.
It is so hard for us to relinquish control.
I have often wondered if it did not have something to do with original sin, which I tend to believe was a thirst for wisdom. Was the original sin a desire, very like our own, to not only understand God, but to reach that level of omnipotence ourselves, to have that control?
Holy men warn you that not all you perceive as miracles and blessings are sent from God, that they are instead deceptions intended to pull you away from God.
How much faith are we showing in God by trying to outwit Him, trying to deny the destiny He has designed for us? I have always believed that when it was my time to die, God would take me, regardless. I can’t shake the belief that we humans have little control over such things.
I have always viewed suicide as one of the ultimate sins. I cannot help but wonder if our incessant desire to extend the natural length of our lives is not just as sinful.
There are those who say that God has provided us with the wisdom and knowledge to lead longer, healthier lives, but I am not so sure that is not one of the biggest deceptions of all.
And why do we seek to prolong our earthly lives? Fear. Fear of what awaits us on the other side, a complete lack of faith in our God to put an end to our suffering and a lack of faith in our own worthiness of such a prize.
Control? Do I have enough faith in God to relinquish myself completely? Do I have faith He will care for and protect those I love from suffering? Do I believe myself worthy of God’s grace?
Doesn’t seem as though He’s left me with much choice.
But when I think of the God, as depicted by men, who would ask us to prove our faith by sacrificing those we love, I fear I will indeed be found to be severely lacking.