Thursday, September 25, 2008

Hanging On For The Ride

"Why would God allow such suffering?" I was 15 years old when I made that statement and my grandpa had just been diagnosed with cancer. My mom dealt with her grief by upping her drinking and I decided God wasn't worth believing in. By the time I was in grade 12 I'd already had a few bitchy discussions with friends of faith and mocked anyone who believed in God.

My eventual turning towards God was a gradual process. I went from atheist to believing there was a God the summer I was a newlywed, and from there to surrending to God a few months after I sobered up 6 years later. It's been a sometimes wild ride since. I've joked with only daughter that it's a wonder she and her brothers don't have spiritual whiplash for all the fast curves we've been around as her dad and I explored different tangents in our faith journey.

Reading this post yesterday brought me back just over 4 years ago when dearest one's brother died. I have a picture of some artist's rendition of Jesus (I've heard it described as a Californian Jesus, no offense to Californians) At that time I spent many early mornings sitting in the darkness with only a candle lit to illuminate Jesus's face. I still don't have an answer to why God allows suffering. I do believe God doesn't cause it.

The morning dearest one's brother died I stood before that picture of Jesus, with tears streaming down my face, and found myself at a turning point. Either God was a good God or He wasn't. Either He was a God to be trusted in no matter what life threw my way or He wasn't. It felt like my heart was being ripped right out of me to surrender to a God who would allow such tragedy to happen. But,by His grace, I did. And ever since then I've had a deep knowing that no matter what life throws at me I do not go through it alone. I believe that Jesus hunkers down beside me. I know that I will be okay even in the worst of life's circumstances. Yes, I sometimes lose sight of this belief. I'm only human. But when I get really still there's still that deep knowing of how temporary this all this and that I will be okay. Even when Jesus masquerades as being from California.


Pam said...

good post today.
oh this journey is so SLOW sometimes, don't you think?

Owen said...

4 years. Man.
. . .
When I saw that particular image of Jesus in the bookstore I almost always imagined the rest of the drawing which bottoms out with sandals on a skate board.

Black Pete said...


Hope said...

Yes, the journey is slow Pam, today it seems agonizingly slow.

So Californian Jesus fits the picture for you too, Owen?

Thank you for letting me know you stopped by Peter. Your prayers are particularly appreciated today.