Blah, Blah, Blah . . . Wrestling. Blah, Blah, Blah

It's been a year of struggling and wrestling for me. I'm okay with struggling to understand something, but at the end of the struggle, I sort of expect . . . well . . . understanding. But at the end of this year of struggling and wrestling with God, I cannot say that I understand any more now than I understood a year ago.

Recap (and this isn't so I can say OH my life is soooo bad - it isn't - that's my disclaimer) but,
  • broken arm that takes 8 months to heal
  • husband's company of 20 years doesn't transfer him and we live apart for 7 months
  • husbands' new company lays him off after 4 months due to economy
  • husband breaks arm
  • husband has gallbladder surgery (never hospitalized his entire life)
  • house in Atlanta still not sold after 15 months
  • we've lived in 3 different residences and about to move to our 4th in 15 months
  • son has some sort of mysterious debilitating disease
  • twist my back all up

None of these in and of themselves sound so bad, but they sure feel like a pile right now. So in all of this I have questioned God. "Did we not obey you in moving to Texas to go to work at this new church?" "Are you punishing me for something?" "If I am sinning, why don't you just show me what it is so I can quit doing it, you can forgive me, and all this can stop?" I have gone from questioning God to having an incredibly superficial prayer life, fearing that everything I ask Him for He does just the opposite anyway, so why bother.

But as I am reading through the book of Job, some of his words to God are so striking. And these the most of all, "Only two things do not do to me, then I will not hide from Your face: Do not remove Your hand from me, and do not let the dread of You terrify me." In the midst of all the horrible HORRIBLE things that have happened to him, losing all he owned, losing all of his children, his skin is rotting off, in the midst of that, and even amidst his incredible anger and agony, he says, "but God, please just stay near me and don't let my fear of what else might happen by Your hand terrify me."

I think that's how I feel. I have been terrified that God has something up His sleeve that I don't know about and that when I least expect it, He's gonna lower some boom on me, just to prove He can. In my heart, I know that doesn't sound like God, but in my mind, that's what I have conjured up. I have allowed some unknown fear of this God who loves me to dictate my prayer life, my relationship with Him. I beg Him, "Lord, please let me know you are near." And yet, at the same time, I am saying to Him things like, "Does it do me any good to pray because you are going to do what you want anyway? And everything I beg You BEG YOU for, it seems that just the opposite happens."

What a crazy bi-polar prayer life. But as I read Job, I see this glimmer of understanding. Not about why I am struggling. A glimmer of understanding about my response to the struggle.

All that to say, wrestling with God is not a foreign notion. All His "favorites" wrestled with Him. It's allowed. It's in the book.

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