Have you ever experienced something bad? I mean, really bad. Life changing, earth shaking bad? We all have…or we’re going to. Bad things happen to everyone. The reality is we live in a fallen world full of disease, death, and sin. (Yeah, real bright post, huh?) Does that mean God doesn’t love us? Well, the Christian teacher in me says no. Absolutely not. But, my human heart has screamed otherwise.
In 2001, I experienced not one, but two miscarriages. The first one shocked me, but I recovered well and chalked it up to “these things happen.” A few months later, I had a second miscarriage, though, that rocked my world. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that God was not allowing me to live the life I wanted to live – you know, married, a few kids, protected life, etc. It seemed my plan for my life and His plan were 2 different things. I began to think His hand of protection was off of my life; that He didn’t care that I was hurting; that He must not love me. I mean, how could a loving God do this to me, especially when I spend my life serving and honoring Him?
So, I wallowed in self pity. Not undeservedly, I might add. Miscarriages are much more than a physical loss, after all. I mourned quietly and without sharing with anyone what I was really feeling…not even Shawn. Why not share, you ask? Because I felt so ashamed of myself. I knew the right answers in my head: God hasn’t forgotten me, He loves me, and His way is always best. But, that knowledge didn’t AT ALL match what was in my heart. In fact, it was a HUGE contradiction. And, for 3 months I struggled to make sense of what I knew in my head and what I felt in my heart.
Here comes my confession: After that second miscarriage, I didn’t pray or read my Bible at all for 3 months. I didn’t seek after God because I was mad and hurt and confused. Most of all, I doubted God’s love. In other words, something really bad happened to me, and I figured if God loved me He would have prevented it. Have you ever felt that way? What’s worse is I knew I was wrong for thinking that way! My head knowledge of who God is proved it. So, I felt like God didn’t love me, felt guilty for thinking that way, and suffered in silence. (I bet I was a joy to be around)
Finally, something prompted me to open God’s Word. I figured I would give the book of Job a shot. He suffered, so maybe I could figure this whole thing out and move on with my life. I mean, life was getting miserable. Do you know what I discovered? That sometimes bad things happen to good people. That the rain falls on the just and the unjust. That this life isn’t Heaven. I should expect calamity. But, God was gracious enough to give me a deeper truth, too. Here it is:
Never allow circumstances to define your understanding of God’s love for you. God’s love for you was settled on the cross when He stretched out His hands and died. God loves you….desperately.
Want proof? Read Romans 8:35, 37-39:
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Are you dealing with some circumstances that are rocking your world? In the midst of them, are you doubting God’s love? Let me be a messenger of His grace today. Hear me say, “He loves YOU.” He does. Run to Him in times of trouble. Don’t turn away. If He never gave you another gift as long as you lived, the gift of His son is enough to assure you of His love. Rest in the security of that.
Published January 1, 2012