Before you automatically answer with “God would never!”, please read the whole post. I know very well that God loves those whom he calls His own in a way that human minds cannot fully fathom. There is a difference between punishment and struggles.
We all have struggles at one time or another. Sometimes those struggles look like they are insurmountable. But, with God nothing is impossible. To be completely transparent, my wife and I are going through some struggles right now. The fact that I’m unable to work due to PTSD makes these struggles that much harder. Basically, it makes me unable to help us. At least financially.
But, I find that during trying times God uses them to continually turn us back to Him. When I start sliding into the feelings of inadequacy and feeling trapped and alone, it is that much more important that I stop mid stride and look to Him. Look to the only one who can save. This is not easy.
When the tough times come, especially financially, my first instinct is to frantically start hunting for a way to fix it. A way out of the corner I’m in. And I usually start this harried process without a full dependance on God. I’m kind of like an animal in a trap. I run from side to side, front to back hunting desperately for a way to free myself. It’s not until i’m totally exhausted and out of options that I stop, lay down and cry out to God for help.
This should be my first step, not my last dying resort. My first move should be to go to God. What should I say to Him? Maybe just, “Father, I don’t understand what’s going on. If I need to change direction or fix something in my life, please show me. If I need to only be patient and wait for you, then please make that clear as well.” And then wait.
That last step will be the hardest. Depending on the desperateness of the situation, it may be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. But, again, not even in the waiting has God left your side. Jesus is by your side each step of the way. Guiding, comforting, teaching. I won’t try to sugar coat this with some out of context bible verse. What I’ll say is that these times bite hard. It’s a suck place to be and often there’s nothing you can do about it. Other than work on your faith and wait.
So, to answer the question, no, God is not punishing you. No, God has not left you. And, yes God will bring you through this in His time and in His way. Which is always the best way. Please pray for me and my wife as we are in the midst of another trying time. Pray for us to have courage and faith, and most importantly that we will be an example to others on how to endure with God.
- Led by the Spirit…Into the Desert (timothyalanaustin.com)
- In His Will. (angelanowakforgod.wordpress.com)