My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from my cries of anguish? My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, but I find no rest. (Psalm 22: 1-2)
Real life Ken and Barbie make me sick.
I am not a violent person. Really I am not.
But truthfully, I’d like to yank Barbie’s hair and punch Ken right smack in the nose.
I bet you know a few Ken and Barbie’s too.
Surely you know the type.
They have perfect lives.
They always have it together.
They are always well turned out.
Never a single hair out of place.
Not even an ounce of excess weight.
They have the the perfect job.
The perfect house.
The perfect children.
The perfect spouse.
And to top it off~the perfect pedigreed dog!
Am I making you gag yet?
Me? I am retching…
That’s why no matter what other name they go by, their true identity is Ken and Barbie.
Color me jealous.
Or maybe just disgusted.
If you are like me, you get a not-so-secret glee when Ken or Barbie finally get splattered when life sends something nasty their way.
If you are like me, you get a certain satisfaction out of knowing their antiperspirant sometimes fails and something or other in their life stinks!
As much as I dislike the Ken and Barbie’s of the world, I think a greater frustration is with the Ken and Barbie’s of the religious world.
I bet you know that type too.
Their faith is perfect.
Nothing in their lives ever causes them to doubt or question or wonder.
Never mind the completely foreign idea of being angry or furious with God.
Job they are not.
For whatever reason, God seems to smile on everything they do.
There is always a smile on their face. He or she is the golden child.
When life shatters around others, they blithely say things like “don’t worry, everything is going to work out fine” because it always does in their little world.
News flash: I don’t live in the same universe much less the same world. Things do not always work out no matter how many times Ken and Barbie say it will.
My life is messy.
Often I create the mess myself.
But sometimes the mess comes to me no matter how hard I seek to avoid it.
And that makes me wonder…. Can there be real and abiding faith without the heartache and pain to test it?
I am beginning to see faith not as a place one has arrived at, but a journey of give and take–a struggle to understand–even an outright fight with God.
If you don’t have faith in there being a God, how can you scream out in pain and frustration without the expectation that He is listening?
Me? I wish for a Genie-in-the-Bottle-God. But since it doesn’t work that way, my faith has to be different. There is no perfect little Ken and Barbie here. Not by a long shot.
Instead, my faith is a constant battle–not to believe, but to trust and be at peace with a God I don’t always if at all understand.
Historically, I am not alone.
In spite of all the outright crazy messiness in the life of King David, God called him a man after his own heart.
Could it be God saw him that way because David was always real and authentic about where he was–especially with God? Could it be that the many psalms of anger, hurt, and frustration were simply expressions of a wrestling, seeking faith?
Like David, I can say, why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble? (Psalm 10:1)
I believe those are ultimately words of faith.
I am no Ken or Barbie. My faith is imperfect. My struggle with God is real.
I hope that makes me, like David, a man after God’s own heart.
Hey God? Thanks for allowing me to fight with you. I know I am not going to win in the traditional sense of winning.
But I have to hope faith in you will somehow win in the end…
How’s your faith?