In the last few months I have reverted to my “old faithful” of devotion books: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers (I added a link to it under Sites I Like if you want to check it out). I picked it up at Wal-Mart one night in college, and I keep coming back to it because it is so frank. Chambers wastes no time on feel-good platitudes and launches straight into the heart of the matter. If you know me well, this is exactly my style; I do not want to hear any of the stock answers – I want truth even if it’s difficult to swallow. If I know where I stand, I know how to move forward, at least theoretically. The last two days in this book have been difficult to swallow but extremely relevant to my struggle with grief and faith.
The main points are that God is not preparing us for the future – he wants us in the moment, right now. This is not to say that our daily journey doesn’t prepare us for future work, but if we are only looking for the grander purpose, we have missed the point of the daily struggle: we are to look for God’s presence and purpose daily, hourly. And the second point is that our trials are intended to simplify our faith. “Unless we can look the darkest, blackest fact full in the face without damaging God’s character, we do not yet know Him.” God wants us to believe with childlike simplicity that he is God and that he sent his son to save us. When we face our darkest times, like my miscarriages and the devastation it has wreaked everywhere else in my life, we tend to blame God. I did; I needed an answer, and no medical explanation has been found. God could have stopped us from losing the babies or given us a reason why, but he didn’t, so I blamed him for a LONG time – sometimes I still do. I needed to point a finger because I couldn’t face such a loss without a reason.
Regardless of the grand plan, I miss the calling of God on my every day life when I see God as less than who he is because of my anger and blame. The point is that I don’t need an explanation or a scapegoat when I can simply rely on God. The second that I look away from him, I start drowning like Peter trying to walk on the sea. I start to see all the obstacles, all the things that are just too big for me to handle, and I start sinking beneath the waves of anxiety and fear. The second that I start searching for a purpose for our losses, I am flailing in desperation, and I am not really looking at God; I am looking to myself for answers. I have a long way to go before I am truly resting in Jesus and seeing him for who he truly is.