Jehovah Jireh?

I went to the deer stand this evening. It was quiet and peaceful. Just before dusk I shot at a nice sized deer and missed twice. (I blame it on my scope being out of adjustment because it couldn’t be my shaking arms and nerves…) I have shot at five deer this season and two have walked away unscathed. Those that didn’t walk now occupy a place in my freezer.

Ex-unemployed preachers have to put meat on the table somehow.

Ok. I am not completely unemployed. I do have my real estate license and I am working that business as hard as I possibly can. But I am a long way from being wildly successful. In fact, at this point I would settle on bringing in slightly more money than is going out.

At any rate, I digress. While I was on the deer stand, I wrote three pages of blog material on the Note App of my iphone. The words poured out of me. After I got back to the house and endured good natured teasing because I missed, I reread my words. There is some good stuff in there. Things I need to share. Things I want to say.

But not now. Not yet. It reads too angry. Too disjointed. And some of it is way too raw at this point. Those things need to see the light of the day some day. But not this day.

Not this day.

My therapist says we need to work on anger; no doubt she is correct.

The truth is, some aspects of my life are really good. In spite of my anger and pain, I have come much further than I ever expected or imagined.

I am married again. She is wonderful to me and my boys. She encourages me. She lets me cry. She holds me when the pain of loss threatens to overwhelm me. And I thank God for her.

I guess this is where I get even more conflicted. I thank God for her, but find it extremely hard to give Him credit for bringing her into my life.

You see, I am still at a place where I doubt God’s goodness toward me. I question whether He is really looking out for me. I struggle with the idea that He provides.

Jehovah Jireh?

As far as I am concerned He didn’t. So why should I hope He ever will?

I went to worship today. The worship minister led us in a David Crowder Band song called All I Can Say. These words described where I am:

Lord I’m tired
So tired from walking
And Lord I’m so alone
And Lord the dark
Is creeping in
Creeping up
To swallow me
I think I’ll stop
Rest here a while

And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give
And this is all that I can say right now
And this is all that I can give, that’s my everything

And didn’t You see me cry’n?
And didn’t You hear me call Your name?
Wasn’t it You I gave my heart to?
I wish You’d remember
Where you sat it down

Jehovah Jireh? God will provide? That’s not where I am right now.

But I want to believe and hope and trust. But right now, that is all I can say. That is all I can give. That’s my everything.

I have a long way to go.

I hope it will be enough until faith is completely restored again.

27 thoughts on “Jehovah Jireh?

  1. I am glad to see you writing. For me, writing tends to free the soul. I was writing to my brother the other day, and I feel like God was writing through me… because what came out completely reshaped my view of God. I talked to him about the idea that the world was created versus the idea that the world just came together. Then I moved from that idea to the idea: was that creator benevolent or malevolent? We explored the malevolent idea, and realized that it could not possibly be that the One who created the universe was malevolent. A malevolent creator just could not be. So we explored how the world could come about being if the creator was benevolent. He would create a race of beings to be benevolent toward. Naturally, a benevolent God would beget a benevolent creation. But in order to be benevolent toward them, they would need help… and for a benevolent God to make the creation bad, would be completely out of character. So He made us with a choice: to be benevolent like Him or to be malevolent. Thus history begins. This helped me in my understanding of God, because I have now been able to see everything that has happened and everything that now happens as coming from a benevolent God. I can see His benevolence in His law, His justice, His mercy, and His sacrifice. I am sure all of this sounds without feeling, but I hope that in some small way it might can help you through this struggle. You are much smarter than I am… but I hope it helps. And I will be in prayer that God helps you. I love you, Mr. Les!

  2. Les, I believe your words will bless more people than you can imagine. How many countless others have faced tragedy and despair and shared your thoughts in the aftermath, but never gave voice to them? You also have a unique perspective, being an ex-preacher (which I doubt is a real thing, though it may seem like it at this point. Keep up the sharing. It is good for us too.

    As a note of encouragement: your desire to find that hope and trust shows that faith is still alive, even if muted and hard to discern. Anger, doubt, fear. All wildly valid emotions. And even though the Word tells us there is a plan, that we will be provided for, that can ring hollow to a heart affected by senseless tragedy.

    Thank you for your courage to share this unfathomable journey. I am praying for you, your family, your friends, and all those who may come into your path.

  3. Les,

    I think your writing is a good thing. You are an amazing and gifted writer…. whenever I feel overwhelmed with life and frustrations and hurts, if I write I feel better.

    Please know that we are praying for you…. I have no answers, my brother. None.

    But I do know that God needed you to have your new wife in your life, maybe it is in that way of Him providing her for you that He is showing you…

    Love you to ….

  4. Les,

    I cannot even imagine walking where your life has taken you; I don’t know that I could handle that grief and pain. It’s a dark journey and those of us who love and care about you don’t have the words to lift that burden.

    I am glad to see you writing, more importantly I am glad you have someone to share your life with. To me, the ability to love is the one characteristic that brings us closest to God. Keep loving and let others love you; those who do will understand the emotions you express through this blog.

  5. Les – I was so glad to see that you have started to write again. This journey back to a trust in God will be an amazing one for everyone to follow. And I do believe you will come back to a deep faith and trust in God; however I’m sure you will have a different understanding of what He provides.

    Our traditional answer to the tough questions of “why” when bad things happen is to say that “God has a plan”. And that is comforting to some degree until the unimaginable happens to you. Then that “plan” no longer has comfort. In fact, instead of comfort there is distrust in God. Instead of peace, there is anger and confusion. How can a loving God plan for this tragedy to happen? When we blame the “plan” of God for the evil that happens in this world we completely discount the power of the evil one that has dominion over this world.

    God definitely has a plan – Jesus the Christ. Through Him we find our salvation. There is an evil that has power over this world, but one day his reign will end. One day Jesus will return and take us from this evil world to be with him. Until then we have to battle with the evil around us. And whether we are fighting with temptations of the world, addictions that seem to get a grip on us, or horrible tragedy in our family, we need to depend on God’s power to pull us through.

    I look forward to following you on this journey.

    May the peace of God rain down on you!

  6. Butch, I am struggling for the right words. They are in my heart and my mind but I want to express them in the right way. I too struggled with my spitirual life. After my children and I got away from the monster that lived in our house, we found peace. They moved on and found mates, so did I. My new husband, like your wife, is a special man. He listened, held me, allowed me the safe haven to let the poision flow out of my heart like blood. My life was peaceful and happy. There was only one thing wrong with our new picture. ME! I refered to it as being just a little crazy for the rest of my life. I was convenced that I would never be the same again. I could not go to church, nor a minister for help, that was like making a deal with the devil. Every time I walked into a church I felt like I was chocking. Now, 13 and a half years later, I am normal. I found a program that allowed me to heal my fears, exercise my demons, and truly forgive my abuser. Be patient with yourself, I love you and your family are in my prayers more than I can count. I have cried more tears than I can count over your pain and loss. You are not alone. I know it feels like it is but you are not. Write, write, write, write…..it is good for the heart and soul. Love you, Donna

  7. Les,

    Raw honesty is a good place to start any journey, especially one toward God.

    I’m glad you are generous enough to let us look over your shoulder as you try to figure it out. You are not only loved, but also admired by many of us, I’m sure of it.

    I’m pulling for you.

  8. How long, O Lord, will I call for help,
    And You will not hear?
    I cry out to You, “Violence!”
    Yet You do not save.
    Why do You make me see iniquity,
    And cause me to look on wickedness?
    Yes, destruction and violence are before me;
    Strife exists and contention arises.
    Therefore the law is ignored
    And justice is never upheld.
    For the wicked surround the righteous;
    Therefore justice comes out perverted. (Hab. 1:2-4)

      • What I am foremost reminded of by Habakkuk’s complaint is that God did not rebuke him for his harsh words toward Him. When I went through my deserts — mild compared to your’s and I do not wish to begin to compare the tests I went through with the desert you find yourself in — it was a great comfort to know I could shout at God and that He was not too big, not too awesome, not too out there and removed from me to command me to stop my shouting. Even today when I go through a rough patch, I know I can shout at God for His seemingly abandoning me in the desert. Our God is not a God Who is so removed from us that He can not take our anger…

  9. Les,

    Lots of time and geography separate us from our old MBC days. You have endured heroic levels of sadness and suffering, and I have constantly prayed for you since hearing about that horrific afternoon. I have no magic words or wands, and wouldn’t try to impose them on you if I thought I did.

    Just as you can feel alone in the middle of a crowd, so too you can be surrounded by both physical and angelic friends when you are alone. My house is yours if you need a road-trip to get away for a while. We are close to lots of civil and revolutionary war history sites, as well as being about 3 hours from NYC and Washington DC. We’ll give you guys a key and you can come and go as you please.

    Shalom, my friend. You are stronger than you think you are. I truly love and believe in you.

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  11. “I thank God for her, but find it extremely hard to give Him credit for bringing her into my life.” I have said something very similar about my new husband, who is such a delightful and refreshing companion and who has been a huge part of the ongoing healing in my life over the past 4 years.

    And your blog title pretty much summarizes my answer to the pre-counseling form, “what brings you to counseling”. So, I find myself encouraged by your story and struggle, and at the same time resisting being helped, because I hate the thought of benefiting from another’s pain or believing/receiving any of God’s healing in my life through the suffering of another. That feels too much like the manipulated “blessings” from an abusive ex-husband.

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