Monday, January 20, 2014

Not 'If' but "What' -- My Honest Struggle with God's Faithfulness

I'm not particularly proud of it, and actually, even a bit embarrassed and disappointed in myself.  I wish that I was more godly or more certain, but today, and in the days surrounding today, I'm not.  I'm struggling, specifically, with God's faithfulness.

My challenge, though, isn't so much with if God is faithful. I really, truly, believe He is. He says He is, and I take Him for His Word.

It's the 'what' that has me wrestling.  What does His -- will His -- faithfulness look like today and tomorrow and into a thousand tomorrows? 

That's the part I'm not sure about, and well, I'm worrying about.

It's like there is a huge chasm between my belief that God is faithful and my embracing the hard-core, real life circumstances of what His faithfulness actually looks like.

Historically, January is a difficult month for me.  Twenty years ago, our oldest child was born prematurely and eventually diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy.  And although I will tell you that I have seen God's faithfulness along the way, from where I'm standing today, I'm struggling with fearing what His faithfulness may look like for all the tomorrows.

I have friends struggling with the same question.  If God is faithful (and He is), what might that faithfulness look like, and what is His faithfulness when ______________?

What does God's faithfulness look like in a marriage that is suffering?  We claim His faithfulness when a marriage is restored, but is He any less faithful when the marriage struggles for years or falls apart?

What does God's faithfulness look like in a difficult and debilitating health situation that is not healed?

What does God's faithfulness look like in mental illness, when it is untreatable and the person struggles in and out of depression and anxiety for the rest of their lives?

What does God's faithfulness look like in the life of a child who walks away from the Lord?

What does God's faithfulness look like amidst people's wrong decisions that ripple out hurtful consequences, harming other people?

And, it's not just 'what may His faithfulness look like,' that weighs on me today, but the 'how then' that overwhelms me.

How then will I live in light of His faithfulness?

How then will I handle His faithfulness, when it doesn't look like faithfulness to me?

Questions and more questions echo off the walls of this chasm between what I believe and what it looks like to embrace the outcome of God's faithfulness.

And the echo seems to get louder and louder each day.

I'm not looking for pity or judgement (please don't do that to me), just sharing with you my honest questions.  Maybe you have them, too, in which case, come walk with me.  You are not alone. We can look for the Lord together.

Or maybe you've walked where I'm walking, and are now further down the road than I.  Please call back to me and tell me that even if everything isn't 'okay,' I'll be okay.  I know it's true in my head, but my heart is struggling to find rest.


Erin said...

Hey Andrea~ I appreciate your thoughts. I'm there too. Scott occasionally calls the time that we are waiting the "comma but" period. We think about different Bible stories that account for many trials. Joseph being sold into slavery, but God restores him and makes him great. Do you see the "comma but"? There was a lot of time that Joseph had to wait before he could see God's faithfulness with the big outcome. Or what about Job? We don't know how much time he had to wait after everything was taken from him to finally be restored... I'm with you. God is faithful. He is faithful not only when we see the outcome, but during the waiting period as well. Scott and I are choosing to believe "God's got it". He is in control and we ask Him to lead us in our daily choices while we are waiting. For me, I think His faithfulness, during our time of waiting for an answer, is His peace. When I am willing to go to Him and give Him my fears, thoughts, questions, I do experience peace. He is faithful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I will say a prayer for you right now, asking God to encourage your heart. ~Erin Ribble

Andrea K. Van Ye said...

thank you, erin, for sharing words of wisdom and hope with me. your faith is an encouragement to me, in many ways. i appreciate your prayers and will, in turn, pray for you and scott, as well. know that you are loved and cared for.

Fran said...

Dear Andrea, I just read your post. Your beautiful and honest transparency made me cry. Thank you, dear sister and friend. You are not alone. You are simply voicing the cries of all of us who desire to bring God glory to the question marks in our lives. We do know God is always true to His character and that He is the God who sees, even when we do not. At such times, which are many, I think this is when our faith is truly being exercised. When I come to those question marks in my life I try to remember what faith is…..the absence of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1) and that we please Him even when our faith is tiny. Only the Potter knows the wonderful and limitless capacity of the clay as He places it on the wheel (circumstances of life.) With absolute control of the pressure to the wheel from His foot and mastery of the clay in His hands, only the Potter knows and sees the beauty that is yet to be. My heart wants to encourage you in what you already know…..He has you….and you are unfailingly loved! xo

A favorite of Chambers:
When you cannot trace His hand, remember, you can always trust His heart.

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