Life Goes On?

Life goes on.

I don’t particularly like those words.

I have said them.
To others.
To myself.
I have said them lots and lots of times.

I know them to be true.
Short of a cataclysmic world ending life-as-we-know-it event or the second coming and the end of time, life goes on.

Life goes on.
The sun rises.
The sun sets.
Days and weeks go by.
Months pass.
Seasons change.
Life goes on.

Two years later, I am well aware of the simple fact that life goes on.

Yes, life goes on.
The sun rises.
The sun sets.
Days and weeks go by.
Months pass.
Seasons change.
Life goes on.

But what about when it doesn’t?
What about when it doesn’t?

What about when the phone rings and the worse news you could ever imagine is heard?
What about when the doctor delivers devastating words no one ever wants to hear?
What about that frozen moment in time in which everything near and dear is completely undone?

What about then?
What about then?

I have written about it before and do so here again. I will never ever get the image of the coroner coming to give me the worst news possible out of my mind. It is an exquisitely painful freeze frame seared into my consciousness.

I remember time slowing down.
I remember the chief-of-police talking–his voice sounded like he was underwater.
I remember this uncharacteristic and extremely loud roaring in my ears.
I remember seeing faces of people who were normally as familiar as the back of my hand–their looks of horror rendered them unrecognizable–although now, I can pick them out of the full color video loop that now plays unerringly.

What about then?
What about then?

Life goes on?
In moments like those, it feels as if life has ended.

I well remember being offended that others got to keep living their lives without the fundamental changes I was experiencing.

Yes, life goes on.
But if you are wondering, let me help you understand: hearing those words is hardly comforting.

Life goes on is actually a pretty fatalistic view of life.
It’s the kind of phrase that goes with a shrug of the shoulders and can sound as if devoid of all hope.
It’s a phrase that makes it seem as if what really matters somehow doesn’t.

To the ears of those for whom life has come to a shuddering stutter-step stop, life goes on lacks the compassion so desperately needed.

Be patient with us (whomever or wherever we might be).
Hopefully we’ll get there one day…

Thank you for reading, sharing, and commenting…

Les Ferguson, Jr.

Fat Daddy

Frustration mounts.

You probably didn’t come here to get my take on the latest shenanigans coming out of our nation’s capital. I’ll probably just refrain at least in this format. I’ll give you a hint, though. I am a fan of the Revolution that began this country.

A big, big fan.
But I digress.

Frustration mounts.
I am surrounded by frustrated people.
And not just in the federal government.

We have a new mayor. The city paid the lawsuits as a result of his philandering. He was then caught taking a bribe by the FBI. He’s out and going to jail.

Our county government has problems also. Somebody may yet go to jail as well.
And then there is our school district.
If I told you, you would find it hard to believe.

Not only does frustration abound, craziness does too.

For a long time, I wanted to be a politician. But then I realized I would for the most part either have to be a liar, cheater, schemer, swindler, or manipulator… if not, then at the very best, I would be in a tiny small minority.

Yeah.
I am probably painting with an overly wide brush.
But you’d have to do the hard work of proving me wrong to change my mind.

At this point, I’d do better to just call them idiots and leave it at that.

Frustration mounts.
For many, it is a slowly seething pot that is about to reach it’s boiling point.

I could easily volunteer for president of the frustration club–at least for the branch that deals with the federal government.

While I am hopping mad at lots of stuff going on in this country, it’s politics and governance is not by far my biggest frustration.

Want to take a guess where or in whom my greatest frustration lies?
Hey God, my greatest frustration is you!

Far from intending anything disrespectful or blasphemous, I imagine God saying, “I know, son, I know…”
And yet frustration mounts.

I wrote the other day about hanging on.
It was good advice for me to hear.
Apparently, I still need the reminder.

But the truth is my patience is wearing thin.
And I am tired. Very tired.
I keep thinking about and asking myself how much longer will I be frustrated and stymied? How many more lessons do I have to learn until some of the old me can be comfortably a part of the new me? How long, God, how long?

Frustration mounts.
As a result, tonight, I am self-medicating.

Tonight I am writing with my drug of choice right beside me.
Yes, I did say drug, but it’s not what you think…

I am frustrated.
I am impatient.
I am weary.
But I am growing full and momentarily contented as the stack of fig newtons slowly dwindles away chased by a beautiful glass of cold, cold milk!

And I am smiling with a memory of my sweet Cole… I can clearly hear him say mischievously as the cookies are devoured… You fat, daddy. You fat.

Maybe so, son.
Maybe so.

Frustration mounts.
Relax and have a cookie.
Chances are, you can’t do much about it anyway!

(Somebody will probably have to remind me of this tomorrow…)

Les Ferguson, Jr.

Where Eagles Fly

I am often told my writing is raw, honest, and full of emotion. Most of the time those that tell me also thank me for it.

I also hear from people who tell me how painful and hard it is to read, but read it they must.

Sometimes I think honesty is a trait of another time and place. We often pull our punches. We often tell people exactly what they want to hear.

I know some good people who would love for me to write today and tell you of all the wonderful things in my life… tell you about my successes and blessing… let you know of all the joy and happiness that has invaded my life.

And, if the truth be told completely, there are wonderful things, wonderful people in my life. In some places, in some areas I see successes, I recognize blessings. I am thankful that I do know joy and happiness–I am often able to easily find reasons for joy and happiness.

But if the truth were to be told completely, I’d have to tell you–even though it may not be what you want to hear–that there are still dark places, dark things I wrestle with.

Truthfully?

I am tired.
Weary.
Frustrated.

A lot.

Add to that a cup or two of anger here and there and it is a potent mix.

I don’t understand why it seems the wicked prosper.
Why can’t I have some of that?

I don’t have a clue why life has to be so crazy hard at times.
Is it too much to ask for a day or two every once in a while on Easy Street?

My patience with God often gets stretched thin.

Here’s my truth: I am fully ensconced in just such a time.
I am exasperated with the constant sense of having to scratch and claw.
I hate feeling desperate and unsure.
I am so ready for God to work in my life in bigger and better ways.
So ready.

So this morning, in the absence of that, I did run therapy.
Three faster than normal miles on some dusty gravel roads.
And I listened to music.

Robbie Williams crooned…
When I’m feeling weak and my pain walks down a one way street…

Yep. I get that. Perfect words to encapsulate my frame of mind.

But, I didn’t need any auditory reminders this morning. So with apologies to Mr. Williams, that just wasn’t going to work. I needed music to groove/ move me faster–and help me out of my funk. And being that I am an unrepentant hard rock fan, I turned to the Red Rocker instead.

My musician Sammy Hagar can usually move me. Today he did. I like a bunch of his work, but my all time favorite and one of my most listened to songs is called Eagles Fly.

Sunday morning 9 a.m. 
I saw fire in the sky 
I felt my heart pound in my chest 
I heard an eagle cry 


Now I’m alive I can breathe the air 
Feel the wind, smell the earth in the air 
I watch an eagle rise above the trees 
Project myself into what he sees 


Hey- 
Take me away 
Come on and fly me away 
Take me up so high 
Where eagles fly 


I often dream I sail through the sky 
I’ve always wished I could fly 
The simple life of a bird on the wing 
Oh Lord, I could sing 


Take me away 
Come on fly me away 
Lift me up so high 
Where eagles fly 


Oh yeah- 
I’m alive, I breathe the air 
Wash the earth from my face 
I catch a glimpse of another dream 
I turn, I look but there’s no trace 


Take me away. 
Come on, fly me away. 
I wanna fly away. 
Pick me up so high 
Where eagles fly 


Oh yeah- 
Eagles fly, oh, take me away 
Eagles fly, oh, take me away 
Come on, let’s fly away where eagles fly 
Come on, fly away where eagles fly.

Sammy probably never intended for a guy like me to use his music to fight my way out of a funk.

But that’s where I am and not where I want to be, so fight I must.

Take me away. 
Come on, fly me away. I wanna fly away. Pick me up so high 
Where eagles fly…

Thank you Sammy for helping me move faster and groove on while doing it.
More importantly, thank you for reminding me of scripture…

Even youths grow tired and weary,
 and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord
 will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
 they will run and not grow weary,
 they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV)

Come on God, I am so ready to soar.
How about you?

Take me away. Come on, fly me away. I wanna fly away. Pick me up so high 
Where eagles fly…

Les Ferguson, Jr.

I Want To Punch Somebody

I guess you might read the title of this blog and think somebody might have anger management issues.

That somebody being me.

Hi, my name is Les and I am angry.

Except, I am really not. I try to be angry at God and sometimes it flares up a little, but mostly? Mostly I am just hurt and frustrated. I constantly hear people giving God credit for all these incredible things they accomplish or acquire.

And I wonder… What are they doing different?

I am trying to write a book. If I could find a way to write for a big hunk of each day, I think it wouldn’t take long. But the reality is that often days/ weeks go by where life too easily gets in the way. That makes me angry at myself…

Anyway, I’m on the third title for this thing and at this point I have settled quite nicely on A Jacob Life.

But the last couple of days, I have felt more like Esau calling out to and begging his father, Isaac with a loud and bitter cry, “Oh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!”

And He has in some incredibly amazing ways. I am thankful for them. But (there’s always a but, isn’t there?), is it wrong to want more? Is it wrong to want a new ministry, stability, and peace? Is it wrong to want my children’s pain to be taken away? Is it wrong to want others to be a little more understanding of the difficulties we still face?

Some of those difficulties are people and their attitudes/ judgments about what we did, what I did, or, better yet, didn’t do. Some of those judgmental attitudes are enough to make me go postal… or at least write a blog about wanting to punch somebody.

Here’s an anonymous comment I received the other day:

Hey Les,
A man raped your son multiple times and you did what? File a police report? If you had been a real man and eliminated the piece of trash, guess who’d still be alive today? Quit blaming others and situations. You failed to protect your family. Next time your kids ask for answers on why mommy isn’t around…tell them the truth.

I have to admit that hurt.
Badly.

It made me sick to my stomach.

It also tapped into one of my biggest fears… could I have kept that from happening?

Believe me, I have wanted to kill Paul Buckman. And bring him back to life to kill him again. And again.
And again.
And Again.

But I can’t no matter how badly I night want to.

What he did to my family was horrific.
What we do to each other with our words, attitudes, and judgments is pretty horrible too.

Remember the old childhood ditty? Sticks and stones may break my bones but words may never hurt me…

It’s a lie.
They hurt.
Deeply.

And the pain stays with you longer than you might imagine.

“Oh my father, what about me? Bless me, too!”

Les Ferguson, Jr.

A Doormat Christianity

Matthew 22:34-40, Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Loving God and loving others. The two greatest commands. The heart and soul of what it means to live a Christian life.

In an old newspaper column somewhere back in time, I once wrote about God’s response when looking at his children and all of the theological drama we have created. In my imagination, I saw Him shaking His head and saying, “No, no, no. That isn’t it all.”

I suspect there are lots of ideas, beliefs, and dogmas that satisfy our human nature but miss entirely the ideal of God.

You might be an arm chair or a classically trained theologian and think me arrogant to even suggest such thing. In return, I think it pretty arrogant to ever imagine even for a minute that we have gotten it all right.

Along the way of developing and defending our doctrinal beliefs, it sometimes feels as if we have lost the main thing. I often tell the sixteen year old in our house, you can be right and still be wrong. If you are right, but mouthy and snotty in the process, all the right doesn’t undo what the attitude got wrong.

The same is true of Christianity. If your doctrine of _________ is exactly what God intended, but you fail to be loving toward your follow man, what good does it do?

You can be right and still be wrong.
Can I get an Amen?

I will probably not make any friends with this post. I suspect some will disagree vehemently. And that’s ok.

I keep being told that one day I will be back in full time ministry. I agree.

I am trying hard to find my voice, to discover my niche, or for lack of a better term, create my own ministry role. But, if you mean being a full time pulpit minister/ preacher/ pastor for a local congregation… I just can’t do that.

One reason is I am a long way from an everyday hey-God-I-can-do-this kind of thing. God and I are still wrestling. I am still limping. And like it or not, most churches wouldn’t handle very well a preacher who openly limps. I am sure there are exceptions, but I wouldn’t know them.

More importantly, another reason is my inability to practice a Doormat Christianity.
Go ahead and ask… you know you want to… What is Doormat Christianity?

As a preacher, my greatest desire was to see the kingdom of God grow. To do that, I strived hard to love God by loving others. In the process, I often allowed myself to become a doormat to those I served.

What about Jesus’ commands to turn the other cheek or to go the extra mile? I fully believe those words at work in our lives would go an awful long way to bringing us peace in our relationships.

Loving God by loving others even when they are unloveable is not the issue. On the other hand, we are often motivated by something less than love in going the extra mile or turning the other cheek.

It’s not a pretty picture, but in my life as a preacher, it was often more about self-preservation. In order to not rock the boat, I welcomed the opportunity to be a doormat to keep my job or provide for my family.

I am kidding right? Not one little bit.

Spiritual abuse? Bring it on.
Power trips? Learn to roll with the punches.
Maintaining the status quo at the cost of your own spiritual growth and creativity? You betcha.

I probably sound bitter. I am. But, I am not content to stay there and so God and I are having to wrestle with that as well.

In the meantime, can I ask a favor? Love your ministers lavishly. Chances are you have no idea what they are sacrificing–sometimes even their own self-esteem. If you like to make jokes at the preacher’s expense about only working one day a week or keeping his moving boxes close to hand or how much money he makes, Stop!

Stop now. He may laugh with you, but it takes a toil.

Eventually he becomes a doormat whether he wants to acknowledge it or not. Even when he can’t or won’t see it for what it is, his spouse sees it and suffers too.

Doormat Christianity is hurtful, destructive, and ultimately damaging to the spirit within.

Loving others means saying this is wrong!

Thanks for reading.
Anything in particular you would like me to address?
How can I help you?

Les Ferguson, Jr.
DWTBA

On Being Ignored

It is a rainy day as I sit and write. I wish I was doing this at the table in the cool of the house, coffee cup close at hand. (Really loving this new pecan praline flavor)

Unfortunately, that is, at this moment, a wildly self-indulgent fantasy.

Instead, the surroundings in which I write are far from conducive. At this moment, there are four of us sitting in the waiting room of an MEA urgent care clinic.

Two adults and two sick kids. The sound of violent expulsion of all ingested food matter has reverberated through our home for days.

Did I say days?

Yes, days. It has been a round robin of sickness. Only one kid out of four has not been ill. I sure hope he stays healthy. I am not at all willing to entertain the idea of another round… As if I get a choice.

At least in the lethargy of kids sickness, there is an excuse for ignoring all requests, questions, etc.

I hate to be ignored.
Hate is a strong word that does not quite describe how badly it irritates me to be ignored.

I hate to be ignored!

The youngest among us has the aggravating habit of ignoring what is being said to him. To give him credit, he is sick and sometimes he is super self absorbed in whatever he is doing–he hears and sees nothing going on around him. He wouldn’t hear a bomb if it went off beside him. But at other times, he doesn’t want to hear or doesn’t like what is being said… And he will turn his head and pretend to not hear.

Can you say immediate transformation into mad dad?
Yeah.

I unfortunately don’t have much patience for being ignored in any circumstances.

In my last post, I asked God to give us some redeeming knowledge of You we can touch and hold on to when it feels as if we’ve been abandoned.

Or ignored.

I have never been the person who prayed and demanded God to change or undo something I had done. When I was up to my eyeballs in debt, I didn’t ask God to manipulate the accounts so that suddenly they showed zero. Instead, I prayed for God to help me be a better steward, to change my attitudes, and where possible, to mitigate the pain my family might feel as a result of my personal stupidity or mismanagement.

And in those kinds of circumstances, even though the situation might feel hopeless, I never felt abandoned or ignored. I always felt as if God pointed me in a new direction or helped me see something to bring relief.

In the here and now, I am not so sure I feel abandoned. But ignored? Yes, I feel like I am worshipping the kind of God Elijah taunted on Mt. Carmel. One who is too busy, or asleep, or on a far journey.

Ignored.

Can God not see all of the ripple effects that never seem to end?
Can God not see or hear the pain of my children?
Can God not see all the difficulties inherent in trying to build/ start an entirely new career–new life out of the ashes?

I know He can.
So I am left wondering why I am not as worthy of His love, protection, and guidance than the other guy? (That is how it feels…)

Why God, do you ignore?

I am not yet ready to quit believing in God. Not even a possibility. And in the discomfort of questioning and wondering without answers, I am trying hard (patient I am not) to sing, believe, and act out the words of John Waller’s song, I Am Waiting, even as I am ignored

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead, bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I’m waiting
I will serve You
While I’m waiting
I will worship
While I’m waiting
I will not faint
I’ll be running the race
Even while I wait

I’m waiting
I’m waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I’m waiting on You, Lord
Though it’s not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve You while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting
I will serve you while I’m waiting
I will worship while I’m waiting on You, Lord

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bb7TSGptd3Y

Have you ever felt ignored?

Les Ferguson, Jr.

The Story of Job Brings Cold Hard Comfort That Isn’t…

In the land of Uz there lived a man whose name was Job. This man was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. He had seven sons and three daughters, and he owned seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen and five hundred donkeys, and had a large number of servants. He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. His sons used to hold feasts in their homes on their birthdays, and they would invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. When a period of feasting had run its course, Job would make arrangements for them to be purified. Early in the morning he would sacrifice a burnt offering for each of them, thinking, “Perhaps my children have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.” This was Job’s regular custom. One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. (Job 1:1-12 NIV)

If I never heard myself referred to as a modern day Job again, I could die a happy man.

Trust me when I say, nobody wants to be a Job.

Nobody.
Ever.
Guaranteed.

A long time ago I had a friend who used to say, sure the early bird gets the worm, but who wants to be the worm? And he was right

The story of Job is not comforting in the least. It is scary, terrifying, horrifying, sickening… I am sure you get the picture.

Even though at the end of the story, Job was given a new family, a new life, I can hardly get past all the horror he endured in the process. That includes the bad advice of his friends. The minute they opened their mouths, Job’s situation became much worse.

The admission of my struggle to understand how God operates in this world, in our lives is not hard to understand why. Anybody who reads this blog knows I wrestle to understand why He failed to stop what I recognize as the evil work of Satan.
Wouldn’t you?

On the other hand, I understand creation is broken. The Apostle Paul says it groans in eager anticipation/ expectation of being renewed. I get that mankind has free will. In the brokenness of our world, we can and do choose what is wicked, wrong, and hurtful.

The human monster who wrought destruction in our lives? I have no doubt in the simple fact he most likely had horror visited into his life by another sin scarred wicked man.

It is bad enough to wrestle with those things, but then Job’s story adds another whole dimension.

If you read the scripture above, you might draw some difficult conclusions. Not only did God fail to protect, He actually removed Job’s protection and suggested Satan have a go at him.

What does that tell me?
Are you ready for this?

I don’t know!

And therein lies so much of the struggle.
One of my new blog friends makes a persuasive argument that God neither causes (which I want to agree with) or permits evil. It is simply a product of the created–you and me.

I have long held that bad things happen because we live in a broken, it-desperately-needs-redeeming world (and if the story of Job didn’t exist, I might still hold that belief albeit not quite so tightly as before). I shudder now at all the times I offered such a belief as an answer to suffering and heartache. Who needs or wants such cold, unhelpful pseudo comfort?

But Job?
Job turns my neat theology as upside down as any tragedy that leaves us gasping.

God pointed Job out and gave Satan the opportunity. In my little theological world, that is both cause and permission.

If all I had to deal with was the question of why my family/ ministry wasn’t worth the protecting/saving hand of God, that would be one thing.

But Job?
I may never understand. And while I wrestle and struggle with my understanding of God’s nature, I am beginning to believe the only way to ever have peace is wrapped up in the concept of mystery.

I want answers now, but I may have to settle with a mystery to be revealed later.

It’s not what I want, but it may be just what I get.

What do you think about the idea of mystery?

The next post will hopefully frame my anger and frustration in a way you will have no trouble understanding.

Thanks for reading, commenting, and sharing the struggle.

Yours,
Les Ferguson, Jr.

When God Takes Your Headache Away… And Not Mine!

Sometimes I really enjoy Facebook. The day before yesterday, I looked at my wall and laughed out loud at two different posts. That is a pretty common experience for me.

The day before that, however, was easily a different story.

I quickly grow weary of all the God posts. God is taking care of this, handling that, working through this, and fixing that.

That and This. This and That. With a snap of the divine fingers… With a wave of the heavenly hand… Headaches went away. Marriages were rebuilt. School grades went up, etc. Everything you can imagine is fixed, cured, and restored.

Who couldn’t love a God like that?

But the biggest irritant was this story of a really bad day… I woke up late, had trouble starting the car, took too long at lunch because my sandwich was made wrong, phone battery dies, and at the end of the day, the foot massager wouldn’t work.

I understand how frustrating those things could be. But worse was the way, God supposedly explained the whys and wherefores of what was really going on…

God let this person oversleep because He was battling the death angel at his bedside.
The car wouldn’t start because God was protecting him from a drunk driver coming down the road.
The lunch time sandwich had to be remade because it was first made by a sick person and God knew he couldn’t afford to miss any work.
The phone battery dying? God was protecting him from having a conversation with someone who would bear false witness about it.
And finally, God made the foot massager fail because it had a short in it. Had it shorted out, he would have spent the night in the dark with no power…

Does God really work that way? This morning I missed having my normal breakfast. I had to run out of the house carrying an apple and a banana. It finally dawned on me… God made one of the boys sick so I would have to pick him up at school. By making this child feel bad, He made it possible for me to eat a breakfast that could not make me gain any more weight!

It was a divinely orchestrated weight loss plan instituted by God Himself all for my benefit!

How does that sound to you?

I am really being serious here.

Why your headache and not mine?

Seriously. Whose fault is it that your phone battery died? Is there a battery angel that normally makes sure your phone gets mystically plugged in?

When you post things like that, when you speak them to others, what is the message we are supposed to get? God is looking out for you even in the minutiae of your life? Your prayers for protection and guidance are answered because you are some how holier or more righteous?

I am not trying to be snarky. It is not my intent to tear your faith down in the process of rebuilding mine. But, attributing everything in your life as the mysterious work of the mysterious hand of God… that makes me feel like crap–like somehow I am less important, less valuable than you.

Believe me please. I’d love for God to deal with some of the crud in my life. I am far beyond just being weary of the ripple effects put into play by the monster who invaded our lives.

You may think we are happy, happy, happy–and we are to a large extent. We are moving forward–but there are times it is painfully slow. I want to trust God, but I am constantly dumbfounded by the fact that there is so much still to work through, so much God could and should do.

So.
When He gets through taking away your headache, would you mind terribly much if He spent some time working on mine?

Where’s the BC Powders when you need them most?

In my next post, I plan to talk about Job a bit and maybe share my biggest anger with God.

Les Ferguson, Jr.

I Don’t Want Anything To Do With Your Plan!

C’mon.
Really?

Are you serious?
Is that how you want to reconcile your questions and faith?

Ok. So maybe you’re scratching your head wondering if good old Les has finally lost his mind. Probably, but that’s not really up for discussion. At least not in this post.

Try this premise on for size: I am seriously confident in believing there are very few who don’t have a God created in their own image.

Yesterday’s post was just two examples of how we create God in our image. We have expectations of God. We expect Him to perform as we think He should. We expect Him to provide answers that completely satisfy our questions.

Good luck with that. At the same time, I am confident you also have had an occasion or two in which your expectations have not been met.

So here’s my rant, difficulty, and frustration–not with God, He gets a break today…

When God did not fit in your god box, when God did not do what you think He should have, and when God did not and doesn’t yet answer your questions, please, please quit ascribing your lack of understanding to some mysterious plan!

I could scream every time somebody suggests that all the bad stuff that has happened is a part of God’s plan. Think about what you are saying!

When the horrific occurs and people are scrambling to get a handle on it–to understand how and why such things happen… When you have a million questions for God–when you are striving to comprehend where God was… Quit giving Him and yourself a pass and ask the hard questions! Sure, you may never get a satisfactory answer, but ask the questions anyway.

When you credit the unanswerable to some vague plan of God, you are not comforting the hurting, you are trying to give yourself false comfort and hope.

News Flash! News Flash! News Flash!

Bad things happen to good people. Hearts are broken. Lives are shattered. Blood is spilled that can never be put back. And to say rape, murder, suicide, divorce, cancer, and any other horror is God’s plan? That is tantamount to blasphemy. God does not work that way.

Care to repeat that with me?
God does not work that way!

But Satan certainly does.

The thief comes only to steal and kill. (John 10:10a, NIV)

I don’t understand why God doesn’t intervene. I confess my struggle to reconcile God’s presence in my life with those times He is so conspicuously absent.

Surely, if I thought for a minute God was behind the loathsome events that shattered my family and whose ripples are still being felt and will continue throughout our lives…

I would curse Him and beg to die.

That’s not my God.
That’s not His plan.

It doesn’t mean I am letting Him off the hook with the hard questions. It doesn’t mean I don’t still want answers. To the contrary, I do so want them.

Even as I recognize answers may never come this side of eternity, I’d rather go through life wrestling, struggling, and limping with God than to live in blissful ignorance. No matter how many times you say it, I will not pretend to find some lame comfort in a non-existent plan.

If nothing else, that’s a plan I have to live with.

Aren’t you glad faith is not one size fits all?

Les, Jr.

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