September 10, 2012

Bless the Lord Reason #1: For His Patience

I’ll be the first to admit it—I’m a naturally curious person.

A question asker.

It’s one reason I went into journalism. It’s one reason I became a writer. I want to know all I can and figure out WHY certain things happen.

But sometimes, I can’t figure it out.

Sometimes, I’m probably like a pesky four-year-old, asking WHY? over and over, to no avail.

The cool thing about God?

He’s okay with that.

Eight years ago today, something very difficult happened in my life. I lost my mother when I was nineteen. She’d battled for a long time with cancer, and finally, went home to be with the Lord.

Of course, I was devastated.

Of course, I was angry.

But more than anything else, the main thing I felt was this…deep sense of injustice. I wanted to know WHY.

So I asked God. Over and over again, I asked Him.

Why did she die, when other cancer victims survived? Was she any less worthy? Were WE? Did she do something wrong?

Wouldn’t more people have been saved and affected if He’d allowed her to live at the last moment? If she’d made a miraculous recovery, wouldn’t that have been better?

What purpose was there in her death? Couldn’t God have found another way to draw me to Him?

Was THAT His purpose? If it was, that didn’t make me want to draw close to Him. It felt like He wanted me to run to Him so He could comfort me…but He was the only one who could make her better and…He wasn’t.

Why? Why? Why?

I still don’t necessarily know the answers to the majority of my questions. But I do know this, without a doubt.

God NEVER got tired of me asking them.

He was patient with me, even in my tears, and my anger, and my heartache. I said some not-very-nice things to Him. I raged, asked the same questions over and over. I doubted. I wavered.

If He’d been standing next to me, I probably would have been pounding my fists against His chest, alternately crying into His bosom and screaming at Him, fingers pointed.

But He was God enough to handle my questions, my anger, my heartache.

And through it all, He still loved me, patiently.

But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15)

Your Turn: When was God patient with you?

*Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

14 comments:

  1. Lindsay,

    These experiences always leave us reeling a bit, don't they?

    I'm so glad God continues to work with us, even in the process of waiting for us. He certainly has been true to my heart many times even when I wasn't so sure I was going to stick with Him.

    Blessings, my friend,
    Becky

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  2. Oh Lindsay,

    I'm so sorry about your mother. Thank you so much for revealing your heart in this post.

    God is patient with me every day. Even after those mountain top experiences and times when I obtain a greater understanding of His grace, I often backslide to fears and doubts. Oh, He is so patient with me.

    Thanks so much for this post.

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  3. I think I've said it before but seeing your faith on this side of such a traumatic life experience is beautiful and admirable, Lindsay.

    I feel like God is patient with me every day--when I complain about the same old things, fall into the same old stupid traps. It bugs me that even with the a-ma-zing things God has done in my life, I still find myself worrying...getting anxious...trying to do things on my own. And yet, He's always there patiently reminding me he's so, totally got this!

    Thanks for an awesome post to start out a new week!

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  4. Lindsay, your faith shines so bright - how very beautiful despite heartbreaking circumstances. The most wise, helpful advice I received when I faced the explosion in my marriage was to ask God "what" instead of "why." Asking God "What do you want me to learn?", or "What do you need me to see?" went a long way to help the patience quota, as well as the healing process. Those questions kept me focused on God instead of dwelling on the circumstance itself. I struggle with patience most when the answer seems obvious. Most of the time, however, it's not!

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  5. LOVE this! And I LOVE that we have a God that listens to us even with all of our whys.

    Went through this six years ago and so many other times in my life. Hard to count them all. I'm a why woman.
    ~ Wendy

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  6. God is so gracious with us. Thanks for sharing your story, Lindsay. It always reminds me of God's faithfulness to His children. He is there to get us through those hard times when we cry out, "Why?"

    God has been patient with me on this journey in teaching. I still have no idea what I am doing, but I know He is there. I cry out to Him pretty much everyday and know that He is there.

    Great post! Good to be reminded...

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  7. Lindsay, I loved this post. Thank you for sharing this experience with us. I've been in those times when I screamed and yelled at God to tell my why, but instead of telling me, He showed me - and still does. Eight years ago - actually at this same time of year - my mom was in a hospital paralyzed from an unknown disease. My oldest daughter was three weeks old when I brought my mom to the hospital 30 minutes away and then for three weeks, with my infant, I went to visit her every day. For a year after that I was my mom's primary care giver and I spent every single day with her. When I took her shopping, or out to eat, I had to first get her wheelchair out of the back, help her into it, then take my baby out and place her in my mom's lap, instead of a stroller. I cried out to God and asked Him why my mom wasn't helping me? Why could so many other new moms have that much needed help and I was left to help her? It was one of the toughest years of my life. Eight years later, she's made almost a full recovery and she's now the mayor of our town. God didn't answer all my questions, but He answered many of them. It's hard to relive those memories in my heart and mind. Who knew that when I was dealing with that, you were also going through the toughest moments of your life. I wish I knew you then, so I could pray for you and offer my support, but I'm happy I know you now and can do those things for you today.

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  8. Dear sweet Lindsay.
    You have gone into battle ahead many of us and have come out standing. I don't know what you've gone through, in the darkest inside places, but you impress me with your vulnerability and honesty. I am dealing with alot of 'why' right now.
    This image..."If He’d been standing next to me, I probably would have been pounding my fists against His chest, alternately crying into His bosom and screaming at Him, fingers pointed." speaks so much pure truth.

    I am thankful that God never gives up on me, because there have been days where I could have...may have... taken everything and tossed it at Him in anger. Yet, I know He's still there, arms open.
    I've prayed for you today and will continue to do so.

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  9. Outstanding post, Lindsay!

    God is patient with me on a few matters that I'm inpatient with. I love His ways and wisdom that He has with us.

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  10. Too many times to count. I love your honesty in this post, Lindsay. I think God delights in our frank questions more than veiled understanding.

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  11. I'm wiping the tears from my eyes, friend. If I lost my mom, this is exactly EXACTLY how I'd react. I'd definitely be asking WHY and I know that the lack of reason there would certainly test my faith. But look how you've pointed others toward Him just by being honest about your feelings. It's beautiful.

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  12. My heart goes out to you, Lindsay, as you mark this difficult anniversary. I love the legacy your mother left, having filled you with her love. I understand the struggle to understand, too. I'm so thankful our God is willing to love us even when we're railing at Him. He knows your pain and can empathize. May you sense His presence and feel a sense of peace in the midst of your sorrow.

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  13. Beautiful post, Linds. Sending hugs your way. Praying for you. Loving on you even from the distance.

    I love the wisdom you found: That God never minds you continually asking questions. A healing truth right there.

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