Really? What Makes You So Special? Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

Ok.

Here’s a bit of a rant.

Based on some of the comments on another post or two, somebody is bound to judge what I am about to say.

But based on another comment or so, I am not alone in the wondering, questioning, and the faith struggle involved.

So if I offend your sensibilities, or if it bugs you that a guy with a great theological education has these kinds of difficulties, then I am ok with that.

And even more so, I am thankful you have not had to wrestle with God in the same way.

I really, really am. Of course I have to tell you the next blog post after this one is going to be about the biggest and most oft told lie in all of Christendom.

Yes, I can be bold and assertive. And yes, I am positive it is true. And yes, yes, again, it is a systemic lie and cultural trait that has to be dealt with for the church to be the authentic body of Christ.

But that’s another day. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe the day after. But, it is coming for sure. It will be offensive to some who don’t like to recognize when the emperor has no clothes. It isn’t intended to tear anybody or anything down—yet, it will be written to beg for authenticity in the lives of those who make up the church.

On to today’s rant… (It’s my blog and I can rant if I want to, rant if I want to…)

I had a comment online today. I also had a call from a new friend who is just two months and a few days into the loss of his 17-year-old son. Both expressed a frustration of mine.

I am better than I used to be about it.

If just a little.

There came a time in my grief where I couldn’t get on Facebook without being bitter and angry—both to God and those who were posting.

Here’s the nature of some of what I would read—and still do.

My prayers were answered—I got the job!

God was with us today—we won!

I am so thankful God healed my sore throat!

Yeah?

He did all that for you?

What about the guy who didn’t get the job?

Or what about the team that lost?

I am so glad your sore throat is no longer, but what about the friend who is even now crying out for a miracle from God?

What about the twenty years I prayed for my son to no longer be disabled?

He isn’t anymore. I get that. And as hard as it is to miss him, I am so glad he has been healed in every way.

I know. I know. My faith has to be stronger. I have to believe and trust in God more. But while I always wanted my family to be safe and well, I wasn’t exactly praying for them to make a fast trip to heaven for them to be that way…

So in the reality of life. it’s not always as easy as you might want it to be.

At least not for me and a few of my friends.

Some of us are hurt everyday by the seemingly unanswered prayers that pour from our hearts, minds, and lips—sometimes in an agony that only the Holy Spirit can hear and interpret.

Has anybody else ever wondered why some prayers are answered and others are not? (Please don’t give me the old saw that no answer is an answer—that’s disingenuous at best and insulting at worst!)

I am trying to trust that my lament will end like David’s one day…

How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I wrestle with my thoughts
and day after day have sorrow in my heart?
How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,”
and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love;
my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me. (Psalm 13 NIV)

34 thoughts on “Really? What Makes You So Special? Inquiring Minds Want to Know!

  1. Les, I have been following you since the tragic loss of your family. I often question God about why?????? I grew up with you, you have been a constant throughout your life. I listened to a sermon Sunday night about how God admired David because of his faith! Now my church would say, he’s a sinner, an adulterer, and a number of other things, but are we not all???? I was also told by someone in the church that we should go up and let people know that God doesn’t approve of their actions, whether we know them or not. With this I disagree. My sins are not their sins. Theirs are not mine. So I will leave the judging to the Judge. These things that you are posting are so much the same questions we all have as believers, whether we admit it or not. I know that you are teaching through these post. I will continue to pray for you and your family and am very happy you have someone else to share your life with. I deeply appreciate what your doing. We all have these burning desires to know “why”, and God knows when this happened to you, I was very confused. It still to this day confuses me. We have to remember we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but principalities of darkness, which I truly believe will take over people’s lives and harm those of whom they are “jealous of” for lack of a better word, or maybe the desire to love the way you can. May God keep using you on your journey and know that you have many followers, and with each one you are teaching. God bless you!

    • Thank you Donna. I really hope–its not such a secret I guess anymore–to write a book. I am trying to write more–and this blog fuels some of it. I really do appreciate your comments. Please keep reading and feel free to share, share, share!

  2. Thank God i’m not crazy and there are more people that strugle wanting answers. Some one told me once there are no answers you will know when you get to heaven….really ?

  3. Faith is refined by fire so that it becomes pure. Authenticity, being real, the real ‘you’ that God made you to be is process that never ends, a race that you must continue. Sucks not knowing why and sometimes distractions are so thick, it feels impossible to tell the truth from a lie. Living by faith is definitely to take the road less traveled.

    Really enjoying your blogs, my response is an inspiration from what I just read.

  4. You are not alone in your thoughts and feelings. Although our situations are different, my family was destroyed by Satan and I have the same thought processes at times listening to people or looking at FB…why did it have to happen to me and my children and not so and so who don’t even believe in God. And there are days when I wonder why if God is so BIG and MIGHTY…why didn’t he spare us the heartache…especially the innocent children?

  5. I read a news article many years ago about a plane crash–I think it was in South America–where there were few survivors. One of the survivors was a young man from Alpharetta (suburban Atlanta.) Someone was quoted as saying, “God must have great plans for him!”

    I immediately thought, “What about the people who died in the plane crash? Did God NOT have great plans for them?”

  6. Like I said earlier, my rant would include “Everything happens for a reason.” There is ABSOLUTELY no way I could live my life believing I am a pawn on a chessboard waiting for God to move me around. God created the world, saw that it was perfect, and turned it loose. That’s what I believe. That’s how I stay sane. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Just a line to let you know I appreciate your blog, and pray for your struggle. As much as God must appreciate those times we feel a heart of faith; I think he is even more honored in those times we choose to move forward in faith even though we don’t feel it…Araham journeying to Moriah, Habakkuk 3, John the Baptist in Luke 7. There is a special kind of courage in this faith, in this perseverance, that makes the comfortable feelings of faith seem a little lightweight in comparision. Keep on the journey…

  8. I cannot say it enough. Your blog is exactly what I NEEDED. And so many others need it, too. The perspective is so honest and who cares if it offends. BLAH! Like you said, it’s your blog. 🙂 People judge because they DO NOT UNDERSTAND. I appreciate it/you so much.

  9. I’ve often struggled with this, too. How does faith fit when the outcome is different from what we prayed. We do have at least two examples in the Bible where God said “no” to someone’s prayers. Paul prayed for the “thorn in the flesh” to be removed. God said no. Jesus asked for the cup of his death on the cross to be removed. God said no. Clearly, in neither instance was this the fault of the person praying. So, how do we fit faith into the picture? My only timid answer is hang on anyway. It might not make sense now or ever. But trust God to have the whole game plan somehow worked out. Notice “timid answer.” It’s a thread in my faith that I have yet to weave a full tapestry of faith around. Sometimes the thread feels pretty feeble when I see intense pain and suffering. But it is a thread.

  10. Don’t get me started on my rant about prayer! And I was a preacher for 30 years w/ a pretty good theological education (and graduate degree in psychology) myself! The prayer platitudes I read and hear on a regular basis drive me nuts. I love the ones where something has already happened and I people request that I pray for a specific result. For instance, “My son took his SAT exam yesterday. Please pray that he makes a good score.” Well, that kid is going to make whatever score he made and all the prayers in the world are not going to change wrong answers to correct answers so the score is improved.
    If God is answering all those silly prayers so faithfully (getting over a sore throat, finding a parking space, getting a job, etc.) while ignoring the prayers of much greater importance (healing diseases, etc.) then, and I say this with all respect and reverence, God has a lot of explaining to do.
    It’s not my blog but I ranted. 🙂

  11. Les, I can’t begin to tell you how much of a blessing your blog is to me. I have had a couple of crises in my life where I was asking the same questions you are. I know that over the years, I have come to a place in my faith where I can make it through difficult events much more “smoothly” than I did when I was younger. Two years ago I had an accident at my daughter’s home where I fell down the stairs. I had a brain injury and had to have surgery. I was in a coma for two weeks. When I did come around, my family did not know if I would be “normal” any more (not that I’ve ever been really “normal”; who is?) or not. I did have to have some rehab and did not go back to teaching until the next school year. The entire time I was in the hospital and during my long recuperation, I did not worry about anything – if I would be ok, if my bills were getting paid, etc. God just gave me a peace that He was taking care of me so I just gave it to Him fully and said that whatever He gave me back, I would deal with it. I am not back to 100%, but that’s okay with me. I am dealing with it. I am not holding myself up to be some great example of faith. I am saying that at this time in my life after having gone through some real difficulties when I was younger, I handled this situation better than I ever would have had I been a lot younger when it happened. In my roundabout way, I’m saying that we just have to hold on. That’s what I have always done because I don’t know what else to do. God has always gotten me through whatever comes along. I know your situation is a lot different than mine, but I do know that God is with you and is getting you through this time in your life. I continue to pray for you and your family. Keep on ranting; it does a body good sometimes!

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